Henman beats Cakl to set up Federer date

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman is determined to concentrate on his own form rather than that of his opponents this year but he might have to have a rethink ahead of his next match.

The British number one will face world number one Roger Federer in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament after beating Czech qualifier Tomas Cakl in the second round today.

Henman, ranked fifth here, had not faced Cakl before beating the 22-year-old 6-2 6-4 on his way into the last eight.

But Henman was not worried about his encounter with the unknown.

"I watched him play a bit against Bjorkman so I had a pretty good idea as to how he was going to try and play me," explained Henman.

"But one of the main things I've been working on this year is concentrating much more on my gameplan and letting my opponent worry about me.

"I feel very comfortable doing that and today was another good example of it working well. I feel if I can execute my gameplan well I can trouble anybody, especially indoors."

Henman broke the world number 213 in the very first game of the match and hit eight aces on his way to victory.

"Today it was important to try and start well and I did just that, and after that it was a lot easier for me to control the match," he said.

Henman is unlikely to be as relaxed as he prepares for his meeting with Federer.

The Swiss star, who lost to Henman at last year's Paris Masters Shield, overcame Andrei Pavel in the second round.

Cakl, world number 213, won two matches over the weekend in the qualifying event to earn his place in the main draw.

In the first round yesterday the 22-year-old defeated Swedish veteran Jonas Bjorkman 7-6 7-6 to set up a clash with Henman.

But the Briton showed no hesitation as he won the first three points of the match against serve before securing a break in the first game.

The next game went with serve as the Briton took advantage of Cakl's early nerves but the Czech found his feet as he took the third without conceding a point.

Henman won on his serve and broke his opponent again to storm into a 4-1 lead and he appeared to be on course to serve out the set.

However, Cakl threatened to break back as he took a 40-0 lead with the score at 5-2. Fortunately for Henman, the Briton was able to save four break points and win the set.

The first four games of the second went with serve but Henman had victory in his sights when he broke Cakl to take a 3-2 lead.

The Czech held his own after that until, with the score at 5-3, he allowed his opponent to take a 40-15 lead before salvaging the game.

That still allowed Henman to serve for the match and the British number one was rarely troubled as he clinched his quarter-final place.