Henman on hunt for battling Arthurs

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman is confident of reaching the quarter-finals of the Pacific Life Open here after breezing past Alex Corretja to set up a match against Wayne Arthurs in the last 16.

Tim Henman is confident of reaching the quarter-finals of the Pacific Life Open here after breezing past Alex Corretja to set up a match against Wayne Arthurs in the last 16.

"I think in all honesty there were aspects of my game that I could have done a little bit better," Henman said after his confident 6-4, 6-4 victory over the Spaniard late on Monday. "But, when you win in straight sets, I think it's important to really focus on the positive aspects."

While the British No 1, seeded nine, was easing through, Arthurs had to battle back from a set down to beat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Henman's confidence should stand him in good stead against the London-based Australian. "I was competing pretty well. When I was at the net, my volleying was pretty solid," he said. "I just think that middle part of the second set was when perhaps I gave him a little bit too much rhythm. I didn't get forward as much as I'd like.

"Then in the last couple of games, when actually the initiative swung again, I was the one moving forward and giving him less time. That's when I'm putting more pressure on him. I was pleased to finish it off with a good last service game."

Henman has beaten Arthurs on the two previous occasions they have met, at the 2001 Australian Open and at Queen's Club later the same year.

In the women's competition, Lindsay Davenport knocked out fellow American Meghann Shaughnessy, 6-1, 6-3, yesterday to advanced to the quarter-finals for the 10th time. Third-seeded Davenport has won the title twice, in 1997 and 2000, and was runner-up twice, including last year to Kim Clijsters, who retired from the event on Saturday with a recurring wrist injury.

The Belgian has her left hand in a brace to help the problem, which could keep her off the circuit until May. The injury was initially diagnosed as a stress reaction but it has proved to be a 1.5cm tear in her tendon. "I am not allowed to move my wrist for 10 days," she said.

The world No 2 hurt the wrist during a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Angelika Roesch on Friday. She said she could not recall how it happened, but said the pain began late in the match. If doctors are not happy with her progress in 10 days' time, she could be out for three weeks.

But there was better news for Serena Williams. She confirmed in a teleconference that she would make her comeback after knee surgery at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami next week.

She said: "It means a lot to me to come back because I've been in a lot of pain watching others play while I've been out. I want to give it my all. I've been feeling the hunger for quite some time."

The American, who underwent knee surgery in August, was unable to defend her US or Australian Open titles and has lost her world No 1 ranking to Justine Henin-Hardenne.

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