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2004 Feb 19 - Henman defeats Federer, again!
Tim Henman stunned world No.1 Roger Federer with a straight sets 6-3 7-6(9) victory
in the quarter-final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
This was the 6th time in seven previous meetings that Tim has beaten the Swiss ace. It is quite an
achievement to hold such a record over the man who many predict could become the greatest tennis
player of all time.
The first set saw both players hold serve until 4-3 when Tim earned himself a break to go up 5-3. He
then proceeded to serve out the set in routine fashion.
Roger upped the tempo in the second set breaking Tim twice, although on each occasion Tim
broke back immediately to recover the deficit. Tim then applied further pressure on the Swiss which led to
a break point opportunity at 5-5, which he was unlucky not to convert. As Tim comfortably held serve for 6-6, the
second set would be decided with a tie-break.
The breaker couldn't have started any worse for Tim as he immediately went down 4-0 and then 5-1. We then
witnessed the new-found belief of Tim Henman which first emerged during his Paris Masters victory in 2003.
Tim upped his game with booming unreturnable serves and solid groundstrokes, which forced Roger into numerous
uncharacteristic errors. Tim was required to save five set points in the process, but the match finally ended
with another forehand error from the Swiss.
In the semi-final Tim will be up against ex-world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt. Tim and Lleyton have previously met
six times, and on each occasion Lleyton has been victorious. Two defeats have come in Queen's Club finals
in 2001 and 2002, while the most recent defeat came at the Wimbledon semi-final in 2002 in three straight
sets. In fact, of the 15 sets they have played, Lleyton has won 13 while Tim has won just 2.
After the match this evening, Tim said:
"Tonight we didn't play our best tennis. Balls were flying around
and it was easy to lose control.
"My record against Roger is something I can't explain. My style of play obviously
has an impact on his game.
"But it also puts it into perspective my record against Hewitt.
"Hewitt's a guy I've really struggled against and I'm really looking forward to the
opportunity to get my first win."
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