Henman's back injury flares up on the grass

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman's hopes of starting the grass-court season with a high-profile victory over Andre Agassi at the Stella Artois Championships today have been hampered by a recurrence of his back injury.

But while Henman admits encountering some problems during his transition from clay to grass at Queen's Club this week, he remains optimistic. A three-time runner up at the event, he said: "The grass has not been as easy on my back as I thought it would be and I have taken longer to adjust physically. It was better today but on Friday and yesterday it wasn't good at all.

"It is slightly disconcerting that my back has been a bit sore but I hope I can put that down to the change in surfaces. Hopefully it won't cause any problems."

Remarkably, despite their grass-court pedigrees, Henman and Agassi have never previously met on the surface and in fact have only played three times in total, Agassi winning their last meeting in Florida in 2000.

With Andy Murray not due to play his first round match against the Serb Janko Tipsarevic until tomorrow, home attention also turns to the current domestic No 1 Greg Rusedski, who plays the French qualifier Antony Dupuis, whom he has beaten in both their previous meetings on grass.