Henman keeps cool to serve out against Santoro

Tim Henman completed a comprehensive two-set victory over the Italian Fabrice Santoro to set up a possible quarter-final meeting with his British compatriot Greg Rusedski in the CA Trophy.

Tim Henman completed a comprehensive two-set victory over the Italian Fabrice Santoro to set up a possible quarter-final meeting with his British compatriot Greg Rusedski in the CA Trophy.

The British No 1 dropped just five games against Santoro in Vienna yesterday and never looked in danger of losing after taking his second break point in the fourth game to lead 3-1. Games then went with serve but Henman held the advantage of serving first to win the opening set 6-3.

Breaks in the first and third games of the second set, together with held serves, put Henman well on his way to his triumph in little over an hour. Santoro then held serve and broke back to give him a glimmer of a hope. But when Henman achieved his third break, thanks to Santoro's chipped shot into the net in the seventh game, it was all but over.

Henman served out to claim an easy win and maintain his consistent form.

In Tokyo, the top seed, Gustavo Kuerten, paid for erratic baseline play by dropping the first set against the Italian Andrea Gaudenzi before recovering his poise to move into the quarter-finals of Japan Open. Also progressing was Mark Philippoussis, whose game has been rejuvenated by a new coach, Peter McNamara.

Kuerten began his comeback in the fifth game of the second set, when he broke the Italian's serve on the way to a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win. The Brazilian leader of the ATP Champions Race turned to drop shots and came up with early breaks in the second and third sets to seal victory. "I just played better in the important points after the first set and that is what you need to win matches like this," Kuerten said. He now plays the No 7 seed, Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia, in the last eight after he beat his compatriot Karol Kucera, the ninth seed, 6-4, 6-4.

Philippoussis, playing against the South Korean qualifier Yoon Yong-il, went to a first set tie-break but thanks to his booming serve came through to win, 7-6, 6-4. The Australian third seed is a force renewed under the tutelage of McNamara. "I was a little tired on the court and I was a couple of steps slow during the points. But when you feel like that out there, you just want to get through the match and get off and get a little rest," he said.

Nicolas Lapentti, of Ecuador, the No 4 seed, narrowly avoided defeat by the Swede Jonas Bjorkman before winning 4-6, 7--5, 7-6 while the No 6, seed Byron Black of Zimbabwe, beat Swede Kalle Flygt 6-2, 6-3. Lapentti will meet Black in the quarter-finals.

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