Henman keeps up fine form as Rusedski flops

Tim Henman completed a comprehensive two-set victory over the Italian Fabrice Santoro in the CA Trophy in Vienna yesterday. But his fellow Briton Greg Rusedski, who could have faced Henman in the quarterfinals, lost to Fernando Vicente, of Spain, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2.

Tim Henman completed a comprehensive two-set victory over the Italian Fabrice Santoro in the CA Trophy in Vienna yesterday. But his fellow Briton Greg Rusedski, who could have faced Henman in the quarterfinals, lost to Fernando Vicente, of Spain, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2.

Henman 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, with the advantage of serving first, the British No 1 held on to win the opening set 6-3.

Breaks in the first and third games of the second set 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 a Santoro error in the seventh game, it was all but over. Henman served the match out to maintain his consistent form.

Rusedski never showed the level of play that had defeated the Olympic champion, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, in the first round. But he forced Vicente into a third set after capitulating 6-2 in the opener and then slipping 4-2 behind in a tie-break. Digging deep into his reserves, he won five successive points and took the second set 7-6, the winning shot being an overhead smash at the net.

The fightback did not continue in the deciding set, however, which Rusedski lost as easily as the first. A break of serve in the sixth game set Vicente up for victory and he broke again, aided by a Rusedski double-fault, in the final game.

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, who was 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.

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