Henman powers past Coria
Friday 19 November 2004
The sun shone for Tim Henman here yesterday as the British No 1 outplayed Guillermo Coria, of Argentina, 6-2, 6-2, and kept alive his hopes of advancing from the round-robin stage of the Masters Cup.
Henman, defeated by Andy Roddick in his opening group match on Tuesday night, built on the positive aspects of his match against the American world No 2 and eliminated Coria after 70 minutes. Coria, who had won three of his four previous matches against Henman - including the French Open semi-final last June - was playing only his second competitive match in four months after shoulder surgery. As against Marat Safin, of Russia, in his opening group match, Coria lacked the serving power to underpin his counter-punching ground-stroke skills.
Henman's prospects of reaching tomorrow's semi-finals depend on the outcome of his concluding round-robin match against Safin, who was due to play Roddick later yesterday. An improvement in the weather after three days of rain interruptions finally brought a smile to a tournament that had been unable to showcase the season's eight most successful ATP Tour players.
Even yesterday water seeped into the equation. Henman noticed cracks on a baseline caused by water pressure under the court. "They need to patch that up," he said. Otherwise he was pleased with the discipline of his performance and added: "It's easy to fall in the trap of saying, 'He's serving slowly, so I won't miss my returns'." Henman was steady throughout.
Coria, watched by his great Argentinian compatriot, Guillermo Vilas, after whom he was named, was hitting serves as moderate as 88mph even when holding to love in the opening game. Called for a foot-fault on his first serve at 30-30 in the second game, Coria double-faulted. He recovered to deuce, but Henman's aggression brought him two more break points and the Briton converted the second of these with a deep drive to the corner.
Henman saved a break point before holding for 3-1, and broke a second time for 5-2 with a high backhand volley. Serving out the set was not easy, however. Henman had to save three break points from 0-40 before converting his first set point with an off-forehand to the corner.
Coria's problems with his serve continued in the second set when he double-faulted to 0-30 in the fifth game, Henman going on to break to deuce. To compound a difficult afternoon, Coria double-faulted again at 2-4, 15-40. Henman served out to love. "He's obviously struggling with his shoulder," Henman said. "I sympathise and respect him, because he's out there trying to do his best."
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Manchester United will pay Monaco £7.2m extra if Anthony Martial scores 25 goals in four years as deal could rise to incredible £58m
Pedro hits outs at Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal for treatment of Victor Valdes
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees