Henman stays upbeat as Britons bow out

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The Independent Online

Britain's hopes of a second ATP Tour title in as many weeks were dashed as both Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski bowed out of the Tennis Masters Series in Montreal at the second-round stage.

Henman, who won the Legg Mason Classic in Washington last Sunday, lost 6-4, 6-4 to Argentinian David Nalbandian, while Rusedski found Switzerland's Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer, too good as he lost 6-4, 6-3.

Rusedski won his first match for 10 years in his former home city on Monday but against Federer his famous serve deserted him. "He is meant to be a big server and usually gets a lot of easy games but it didn't happen," said Federer. "I am happy with that."

At least Henman believes he is still on course for the US Open from 25 August. "I served really well last week and not so well here," the British No 1 said. "But I am coming out on court each time, working to improve and enjoying myself, and I shall go on to Cincinnati in a good frame of mind."

A series of missed chances saw the former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt surprisingly beaten7-5, 6-7, 7-5 by the 6ft 7in Max Mirnyi, of Belarus. In the next round Mirnyi meets Paradorn Srichaphan, of Thailand, who beat the local wild card Daniel Nestor 7-5, 6-4.

The two leading Americans, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, both had to fight to progress.

Agassi had to recover from 3-1 down in the first set tie-break against Russia's Davis Cup hero, Nikolay Davydenko, before taking it 7-3 and coming through 7-6, 6-2.

Roddick was 6-5 and set-point down in the first set against Juan Ignacio Chela, of Argentina, but saved it with an ace before winning through by the same score as Agassi.

Elsewhere, there were several upsets in the second round of the Los Angeles Open. The most high-profile casualty was the fifth seed, Jelena Dokic of Serbia-Montenegro, who lost 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Australian qualifier Nicole Pratt beat Eleni Daniilidou, of Greece, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, while 14-year-old Ukrainian Viktoriya Kutuzova progressed after Alexandra Stevenson retired with a shoulder strain when trailing 6-3, 3-3.

Kim Clijsters crushed Emilie Loit, of France, 6-1, 6-1 in only 47 minutes to reach the third round. The Belgian's rapid victory set up a meeting against the 16-year-old Russian Maria Sharapova, who beat her compatriot Nadia Petrova 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

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