Frenchman stands in way of Henman progress

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman will face the Frenchman Cyril Saulnier in the first round of the French Open which starts on Monday.

Tim Henman will face the Frenchman Cyril Saulnier in the first round of the French Open which starts on Monday.

The British No 1 is seeded ninth at Roland Garros and his opponent, who lives in Marseille, faces Henman for only the second time. Henman won the first meeting in the last 16 at Queen's Club last year.

The British No 2, Greg Rusedski, faces Fernando Verdasco of Spain.

Henman could meet the 2003 Wimbledon finalist, Mark Philippoussis, in the third round if he and the big-serving Australian get past their first two opponents. But the undoubted tie of the third round, in prospect at least, is a meeting between the Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, Roger Federer, and the twice French Open champion, Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil.

The clay-court specialist Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, has a tough first-round match against Germany's Tommy Haas, andMarat Safin faces Argentina's Agustin Calleri.

The women's top seed and French Open champion, Justine Henin-Hardenne, of Belgium, begins her defence against France's Sandrine Testud. Second seed Serena Williams faces Iveta Benesova, of the Czech Republic, while her sister Venus, seeded fourth, takes on Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand. Amélie Mauresmo, the best hope of a home victor here, faces the Slovakian Ludmila Cervanova.

Xavier Malisse, of Belgium, advanced to the final of the Raiffeisen Grand Prix yesterday by defeating Austria's Juergen Melzer, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, in St Pölten, Austria.

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