Sick Henman laid low by Pavel

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The Independent Online

A jaded-looking Tim Henman crashed out of the Masters Series event in Hamburg yesterday losing 6-2, 6-2 to the Romanian Andrei Pavel in the second round.

A solid opponent proved too good for Henman and the match took little over 45 minutes. Henman had struggled in his first-round match against Andreas Seppi after coming down with a cold at the weekend.

"I was a little feverish," the British No 1 said. "You don't want to play an individual sport in these conditions when you're not feeling 100 per cent well. I think it's a bug of some sort. Now I need to rest and make sure I feel fresh for the French Open."

Pavel broke Henman's serve in the opening game and took the second without too much difficulty. But Henman recovered from his slow start and reduced the deficit, albeit in less than convincing fashion.

The Romanian looked comfortable and went further ahead at 3-1 and although Henman looked to have found his rhythm when he took the fifth, Pavel took the set with little effort.

The second set started in much the same way as the first with Pavel, this time varying his shots more, breaking Henman's serve before taking the second game without answer.

Henman looked tired but stayed aggressive until he lost his serve in the seventh game to fall 5-2 behind. Pavel, the world No 13, had no problem in serving out for the match.

The defending champion, Guillermo Coria, extended his winning streak on clay to 28 when he beat Luis Horna, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, in the second round.

Coria, seeded second behind Roger Federer, has not lost a clay-court match dating back to the semi-finals of last year's French Open. He's now 13-0 on clay for the year, with titles in Buenos Aires and Monte Carlo.

The former US Open champion Marat Safin rallied to defeat Sargis Sargsian, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Lleyton Hewitt survived nine set points and recovered from a 5-1 deficit in the second set to beat Tommy Haas, 6-4, 7-5.

Jennifer Capriati had an easy time advancing to the third round of the Italian Open, dismissing Venezuela's Maria Vento-Kabchi 6-2, 6-1.

* Greg Rusedski earned a place in the French Open draw after the withdrawal of the injured American Mardy Fish yesterday. Fish, the world No 20, has pulled out of the clay-court grand slam event with a hip injury allowing Rusedski the opportunity to banish the demons of his first-round defeat at Roland Garros last year. The women's draw will be without last year's losing finalist Kim Clijsters, who has confirmed her withdrawal because of tendinitis in her left wrist.