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2004 Apr 22 - Henman topples Massu in Monte-Carlo

Tim Henman earned himself a place in the Tennis Masters Monte-Carlo quarter-final after his 3-6 6-4 6-3 victory over Chilean Nicolas Massu.

The first set began tentatively with neither player settling into a comfortable rhythm and dropping serves more frequently than dropping aces. There were five straight breaks of serve but it was Nicolas who came out on top breaking Tim no less than four times before taking the set 3-6.

Set two was a different proposition with both players raising their game and the British No.1 cutting off the court with his net-play and stunning volleys. With the set poised to go either way it was Tim who snatched a break and then consolidated to level the match.

Building on his momentum from the second set Tim broke the Chilean twice in the third which was enough to land himself a well deserved victory.

After the match Tim said:

"It started with one of those sets where I couldn't find any rhythm on my serve.

"I felt it could only get better. It wasn't a case of trying harder I just felt I should relax and see how it goes.

"My returns were going well and in the third set I found some rhythm - got an early break and started serving well.

"After my first round match my expectations weren't that high. I was struggling for form.

"But I have found a way to win and it just goes to show that things can take a turn for the better.

"It is good to be through to the quarters and if I can beat Massu there's not reason why I can't beat Schuettler or Hewitt."

In the quarter-final Tim will face the German Rainer Schuettler who defeated Australian Lleyton Hewitt 6-4 3-6 6-4.

Tim has a 3-2 win record over the German and has won both of their last two matches - the most recent being Indian Wells, USA in 2001. They have never met on clay before but with Tim Henman in confident mood there could be a semi-final place with his name on it.


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