Henman marches on with win over Safin

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The Independent Online

British number one Tim Henman powered into the quarter–finals of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells with a 7–6 (7–3) 6–4 win over Russia's Marat Safin.

Henman, seeded nine, took his record against the seventh seed to 2–2 having lost twice to the former US Open winner since beating him in Rotterdam in 1999.

Henman connected with 63 per cent of his first serves and sent down four aces against just one double fault.

It is the first time the 27–year–old has beaten a player ranked in the top 10 in the world for 20 months.

"With Marat, everybody knows he's got an enormous amount of ability, a huge game," Henman said. "But he can be susceptible to having some down patches in a match.

"I didn't give him too much pace. I made him hit a lot of balls, once I started to move well. I think I was making life difficult for him."

Henman will now face Gaston Gaudio later today after the Argentinian defeated Greg Rusedski's conqueror Julien Boutter, of France, 7–6 2–6 6–1.

Henman has won their only two previous meetings in straight sets, prevailing 6–4 6–4 in Estoril in 2000 and 6–4 6–2 in Monte Carlo last year, both times on clay.

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