Henman in form for showdown against Federer

Tim Henman enjoyed a winning start to the year yesterday and set up a meeting with the world No 1, Roger Federer, in the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.

Tim Henman enjoyed a winning start to the year yesterday and set up a meeting with the world No 1, Roger Federer, in the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.

Henman beat the defending champion, David Nalbandian, 6-1, 7-5, showing some good form in the warm-up tournament for the Australian Open. The British No 1 had lost four of his last five matches against the Argentinian, but came through without many problems and was pleased with his game.

"It's a great start to the year - just what I was looking for," Henman said. "Over the years I've found David very difficult to play against. He returns serve very well and he's deceptively effective from the baseline, so sometimes it can be difficult to execute my game plan well enough against him to get the right result. Beating somebody of his stature is always good for the confidence and it bodes well at the beginning of the year."

After a busy year in 2004, Henman explained that the Christmas break had not necessarily been good for his fitness, particularly his back, which has been causing him problems.

"I'm not the most flexible and at the end of the year I was pretty exhausted and wanted to have a couple of weeks where I didn't do anything," he said. "When I started training again it really seized up. As much as I enjoyed the two weeks off I don't think it's so productive."

Henman will now be hoping to maintain his good record against the Swiss, having won six of their nine previous meetings. Federer, described last year by Henman as "virtually unplayable", took three sets to overcome Gaston Gaudio 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 and the Wimbledon champion seemed to be finding his form as the game went on.

He said: "It was about getting used to the surface. The conditions are much quicker than Doha [where he won the Qatar Open]. My timing was OK, but I could have served better.

Andre Agassi beat the Chilean Olympic gold medallist, Nicolas Massu, 6-1, 7-6, to set up a meeting with Andy Roddick.

* Jennifer Capriati has pulled out of the Australian Open because of a nagging shoulder injury. The 28-year-old first hurt her shoulder at the 2004 Advanta Championships in Philadelphia in November. Capriati, who had been seeded No 10 for the Open, which starts on Monday, won the event in 2001 and 2002.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas