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2004 Oct 21 - Henman defeated by Ljubicic

Tim Henman suffered a disappointing defeat to Croatian Ivan Ljubicic 6-4 4-6 6-2 in the third round of the Tennis Masters Madrid in Spain.

In the first set both players held serve with little threat until 5-4 on the Henman serve when Ivan pounced to snatch the set at the eleventh hour.

The Croatian was threatening the Henman serve again in the second set but this time failed to make the most of his break point opportunities. Tim earned a break point at 3-3 which he converted and then held on to level the match.

It was all to play for in the deciding set and Ivan took full advantage of a less than adequate service game from the British No.1 who should have levelled for 3-3 but instead dropped serve to go behind 4-2. Frustration was setting in with Tim's racket received abuse on more than one occasion. Ljubicic then held serve and Tim needed to hold serve to stay in the match - but he was broken again and the Croatian eased into the quarter-finals.

Tim wasn't looking for excuses regarding his performance but it is a known fact that before Roland Garros 2003 he suffered from an unknown virus which drained his energy. Blood tests have been taken and results are pending.

Tim said:

"From the waist up, I feel fine. I don't feel ill, but I just don't have any energy.

"But I was hitting the ball poorly, it's as simple as that. I was erratic - every game was a struggle."

Providing all is well Tim is scheduled to play at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors Basel in Switzerland starting 25th October.


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