Kiefer outplays Henman in Hong Kong

Third-seed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany outplayed second-seed Tim Henman of Britain 6-4, 6-2 today to cruise to the final of the $375,000 Salem Open in Hong Kong.

Third-seed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany outplayed second-seed Tim Henman of Britain 6-4, 6-2 today to cruise to the final of the $375,000 Salem Open in Hong Kong.

In the final on Sunday, Kiefer will meet fourth-seed Mark Philippoussis, who overpowered fellow Australian Patrick Rafter 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

Philippoussis scored his first career win over Rafter to set up the chance of winning his second tournament this year, having won in San Jose earlier this year.

"It is going to be a tough match against Kiefer. He is moving well and is in very good form," said Philippoussis.

He won the tie-break against Rafter and then moved into top gear breaking the two-time U.S. Open champion in the third and fifth games in the second set to lay the foundation for victory.

"He played consistently. I was a step slower today and I didn't get a chance to look in on his serve,"' said Rafter.

Henman, seeking to emerge from a two-year title drought, failed to find his serve or rhythm.

The 23-year-old Kiefer, who hasn't dropped a set in the tournament, exploited Henman's inability to find his first serve as he rushed to victory in just under 90 minutes.

Kiefer, who won the Dubai Open earlier this year, broke Henman once in the first set and twice in the next.

Henman, ranked 10th by the ATP Tour, had struggled to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Michael Chang of the United States on Friday. Kiefer beat fifth-seed Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

The seventh-seed Rafter upset top-seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Friday, while Philippoussis defeated Sergi Bruguera of Spain 6-2, 6-3.

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