Stuttering Henman overcomes Clement

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman admitted he struggled to find fluency before advancing to the third round of the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells, California, by beating Arnaud Clement 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday.

The sixth seed had not dropped a set to his French opponent in their previous two meetings, but lost the first before clinching the match in two hours and 12 minutes. "It was a struggle to find my rhythm," Henman said. "I was making so many unforced errors. But I had to keep believing I could turn it around and slowly but surely did it."

Henman made a wretched start, going 4-1 down before starting his fightback. He broke serve to go 4-2 up in the second set only to squander his advantage by losing his next service game to love. But another break in the final game of the set let Henman level the match, and he looked in control in the final set. He will now play Jürgen Melzer, of Austria, the 32nd seed.

Greg Rusedski, however, lost two tie-breaks and bowed out to the Chilean Fernando Gonzalez 7-6, 7-6. Andy Roddick, the third seed, narrowly defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 and Andre Agassi saw off Wayne Arthurs 6-4, 6-1.