Henman looks to exploit Federer record

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman is hoping he can improve on an already impressive record against Roger Federer when the pair meet in the quarter-finals of the Nasdaq-100 Open here today.

Although the Swiss world No 1 has won their last two encounters, Henman still holds a 6-3 advantage in career meetings. Henman, seeded No 6 at this ATP Masters Series event, moved into the last eight with a 7-6, 6-3 defeat against the Czech player Radek Stepanek.

The top-seeded Federer survived a tough encounter with the Croatian Mario Ancic, dropping a set for the second successive match before prevailing 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 against the 18th seed.

"I'm one of the few guys who has a good record against Roger, although I think I beat him a couple of times when he was just 13 or 14," said Henman. "More recently he's taken the game to a new level and his record over the last 16 months has been phenomenal. But there will be no pressure or expectation on me so I can just focus on the things I'm doing well and see what happens."

Andre Agassi, a champion here on six occasions, joins them in the last eight after a 7-6, 6-2 win over the French Open champion Gaston Gaudio.

In the women's quarter-finals, Venus Williams beat her sister Serena for the first time in three and a half years, 6-1, 7-6. Venus will play the Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova in the last four today. Sharapova beat the former world No 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 to end the Belgian's comeback run.

"We've played some huge matches," Venus said after beating Serena. "This one is a highlight. The first set was fantastic. The second set I missed some opportunities but credit to Serena. It's not like she gave me that many points. I definitely had my hands full."