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2004 Jan 20 - Aus Open: Henman stunned by Canas

Tim Henman was defeated in an epic 5 set encounter with Guillermo Canas of Argentina in the third round of the Australian Open 6-7<5) 5-7 7-6(3) 7-5 9-7.

The match lasted a massive 4 hours and 53 minutes, but it could have ended much earlier in favour of the Brit who won the first two sets and so just needed to snatch one more to claim victory. Even in the final set Tim got an early break to go ahead 4-1 but the tough Argentinean who was experiencing cramp just wouldn't let it go!

After the match a dejected Tim Henman said:

"It was probably a good match to watch but it is about winning and losing and unfortunately I came up just short.

"There are probably not a whole load of constructive things that I have got to say. It will be interesting to look at some of the stats of the match. They were coming up on the scoreboard from time to time and at one stage I saw I hit 96 winners. That is a lot of winners to hit to lose.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow. Having lost a tight one to him in Paris at the French Open in 2001, these are the types of matches you have to find a way to get through.

"The first couple of sets I was able to win a couple of important points and that was probably the difference.

"In the next two he won a couple of critical points and that's the difference. It is very easy to over analyse something like this. Unfortunately he was the winner.

"There is very little difference between us as the scoreline suggests. All credit to him. When he was behind in the fifth he came up with some great shots.

"If you are 4-1 up in the fifth you are obviously in the ascendancy. A professional player knows its certainly not over.

"All credit to him. He hit some great running passing shots to break back at 4-2 and right through the match he was running a lot of balls down, hit some great returns and a lot of lobs which were very effective.

"He competed extremely well as he always does. When he was two sets to love down he hung in there. I'm sure in a couple of days time there will be some good points to take out of it.

"In a couple of days when I do reflect on it there will be some positives but we will have to wait and see how long it is."

This was the fifth meeting between the two players and now a forth straight win for Guillermo. The only time Tim has got the better of the Argentinean was their first meeting in Montreal way back in 1998.


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