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2004 Jun 10 - Stella: Flanagan & Marray out

Ian Flanagan and Jonathan Marray both fell at the third round of the Stella Artois Championships following impressive runs - possibly showing that strength in depth is finally beginning to emerge in British tennis.

Ian gave all he could but was given a grass court master-class by Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean who won in straight sets 6-2 6-0. Sebastien is renowned for his grass court skills and defeated Tim Henman in straight sets in the semi-final at Queen's Club last year - before knocking Tim out of Wimbledon in the quarter-finals a week later.

After the match Ian said:

"The atmosphere was great and the fans have been superb, it's just a shame I couldn't give them something to cheer.

"Grosjean is just the type of person you don't want to play when you're a little bit nervous.

"The one thing you don't want is someone making every single ball and putting you under pressure and unfortunately I didn't play anywhere near my best tennis.

"But it's been a great week and hopefully I'll be back here next year."

No doubt the promising young Brit could cause a stir at The Wimbledon Championships this year. Having disposed of Mark Philippoussis in the first round at Queen's Club he could yet be handed one of the few remaining windcards by the AELTC. Ian said:

"I think I deserve a wildcard but it's out of my hands."

Jonny put up outstanding resistance against the three times champion Lleyton Hewitt and has proven himself as a man who does not freeze on the big occasion. His near-perfect serve-volley game earned six set points at 6-5 in the first set and saved four match points at the end of the first set before Lleyton's experience of playing big points finally told 7-6(2) 7-6(8).

After the match Jonny said:

"I'm a bit disappointed I didn't take it to three [sets] but I had a great time and it was a great atmosphere.

"I felt a little nervous before but once I got out there I really enjoyed it.

"I stuck to my gameplan and I think I caused him a few problems so I'm pretty happy."

Lleyton knew he was in a battle today and was impressed with Jonny's performance, he said:

"He played extremely well. He served extremely well for the whole match.

"In the end I just played the bigger points better in the tie-break.

"He obviously enjoys coming to the net and he played a lot of good low volleys."


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