Henman overcomes Kiefer in fine style

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The Independent Online

The British No 1 Tim Henman yesterday defeated the German Nicolas Kiefer in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters in Ohio. Henman won the opening set 7-5 before a second set stumble saw both players drop serve. However, the Briton's second break in the eighth game allowed him to serve out for the set 6-3 and the match.

The first set went with serve until Kiefer broke in the seventh game. At 5-4 down Henman broke back and, after holding his own serve, the Briton made no mistake with an overhead to take the first set 7-5.

A break each saw the second set finely poised with Henman leading at 4-3, but when the German found the net with a backhand in the eighth game he gave his opponent another break point and Kiefer's eighth double fault left Henman to serve out for the match.

Britain's Greg Rusedski was also a comfortable third-round winner, easing past Stefan Koubek, of Austria, 6-3, 6-3.

The Spaniard Alberto Martin caused an upset by beating Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-4. The defeat means that the former world No 1 Sampras has now failed to win a title in his last 16 tournaments.

In Manhattan Beach, California, Martina Hingis seemed in a hurry to reach the quarter-finals of the Los Angeles Classic, beating the Russian Elena Likhovsteva 6-0, 6-3 in just 53 minutes. The two-time defending champion Serena Williams was almost as impressive, slamming 13 aces past Nicole Pratt of Australia in her 6-3, 6-3 victory.

The going was harder for Lindsay Davenport and Kim Clijsters. Davenport needed two tie-breaks to see off Russia's Nadia Petrova 7-6, 7-6 and Clijsters needed three sets to see off the Zimbabwean Cara Black 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.