Henman wins battle of Britain

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman won his all-British duel with Greg Rusedski 7-6 6-4 in the first meeting between the two on clay.

Tim Henman won his all-British duel with Greg Rusedski 7-6 6-4 in the first meeting between the two on clay.

After a rain-delayed start, Rusedski was first to break serve and claim a 4-3 first-set lead, flashing a delightful backhand volley cross court, before Henman failed to make contact with a deep forehand return.

However, Rusedski failed to capitalise as Henman hit back, saving a set point on his opponent's serve with a glorious backhand pass which helped him to break back and make it 5-5.

Henman wrapped up the first set, winning the tie-break 7-3 as he produced a string of excellent cross-court forehands.

The 30-year-old British number one looked inspired as he immediately broke in the second set after Rusedski hit a weak forehand volley into the net.

Rusedski then changed rackets in a bid to stem the tide as Henman stamped his authority on the match, claiming another game against the serve with an aggressive lob.

There was a temporary reprieve for Rusedski as he fought back to win three consecutive games, but Henman went on to clinch the second set and the match, meeting little further resistance.

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