Rusedski wins but defeat for Henman

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Tim Henman missed out on a quarter-final against Greg Rusedski by losing 3-6 6-3 6-4 to Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the Stuttgart Masters Series on a mixed day for British tennis' top two.

Tim Henman missed out on a quarter-final against Greg Rusedski by losing 3-6 6-3 6-4 to Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the Stuttgart Masters Series on a mixed day for British tennis' top two.

Henman, the world number 10 and British number one, took the first set having been 3-1 behind, but soon went 5-1 down in the second.

He was unable to recover as Hewitt powered to victory.

Earlier, Rusedski upset top-seeded Marat Safin 7-6 (2), 6-4 to reach the quarters.

Rusedski beat 20-year-old Safin, US Open winner just two months ago, by clinching a first set tie-break and breaking his opponent's serve in the third game of the second set.

British number two Rusedski, back to his best 11 months after surgery on his foot, finished Safin off with a ninth ace on the first of three match points.

"I'm pleased with the way I'm playing this week," said Rusedski. "It was a tough match and Marat was the favourite.

"My physical condition feels good right now, I've had good doctors - some from Germany. For the past two weeks I've felt pretty good with my foot."

The Canadian-born Briton came back from a break down in the first set, levelling at 5-5 and winning a tie-breaker convincingly.

Safin had won both previous matches against Rusedski. The Russian's ouster came one day after he had halted a five-match losing streak against Fabrice Santoro.

Sixth-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the Olympic gold medalist, survived three set points and went on to beat Franco Squillari 6-3, 7-5 to move into the quarter-finals of the $2.95 million tournament.

Wayne Ferreira also advanced to the last eight when his opponent, 12th-seeded Mark Philippoussis, withdrew because of a neck injury. The Australian became the third player to pull out during the tournament.

Kafelnikov, winner of the 1996 French Open and the 1999 Australian Open and a former world number one, staved off three set points to hold serve for 5-5 in the second set.

Squillari, an 11th-seeded Argentine whose two titles this year both came in Germany - in Munich and at the outdoor Stuttgart event - committed a double-fault to drop his serve in the next game.

Kafelnikov, winner of his fourth consecutive Kremlin Cup last week in Moscow, used his first match point by hitting a forehand winner.

He said: "It's very exciting to be in the quarters in such a big event. But my game could be a little bit better."

Kafelnikov is close top clinching a place in the season-ending Masters Cup. "I still have some work to do on that," he said.

Safin has won a tour-high five titles this year, including the US Open, his first Grand Slam.

He's world number two behind Gustavo Kuerten in the Champions Race, which will determine the number one spot at the end of the year.

Safin is one of five players who have qualified for the eight-man Masters Cup later this month in Lisbon, Portugal.

Comments