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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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