Henman wins mind games in thrashing of Chela

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman revived memories of one of his greatest victories last night to book his place in the last 16 of the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Juan Ignacio Chela.

The last meeting between these two came at last year's French Open, where Henman produced arguably his best display at Roland Garros to beat the Argentinian clay-court specialist in straight sets and reach the semi-finals.

This time, Henman broke Chela in the eighth game and never looked back, dominating his opponent with some superb tennis to set up a last-16 meeting with either the American Jeff Morrison or Radek Stepanek, of the Czech Republic.

Both players started confidently and the match went with serve to 3-3. After breaking Chela, Henman held serve to close out the first set. The 30-year-old made a bullish start to the second set, his net game far too strong for the heavy-footed Chela, and he broke serve without dropping a point.

Henman surged to a 4-0 lead before the Argentinian finally stopped the rot in the fifth game of the second set. More solid net play took Henman to 5-1 and ultimately a smooth passage to the next round.

"It was a question of trying to stamp my authority on the match," Henman said. "He likes time to hit his ground strokes and I knew if I could keep getting forward that making passing shots in this type of wind would be difficult. All in all, I'm quite pleased.

"In Indian Wells I was getting frustrated, I was irritable, but I gave myself a talking to and I said, 'Whatever happens I'm going to be disciplined on the court and be mentally strong'."

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