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2004 Apr 19 - Henman battles in Monte-Carlo

Tim Henman defeated American Vince Spadea 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(5) in the first round of the Tennis Masters in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Having dropped the first set in a close tie-break Tim then dropped his serve in the second set before breaking the American twice and levelling the match at one set a piece. The third set started much better for the British No.1 as he built up a 1-4 lead but then relinquished his early break for 3-4 and back on serve. Tim recovered his break advantage immediately after for 3-5 but once again couldn't hold his own serve which led to the American levelling the set at 5-5. Tim consolidated at 6-5 as did Vince for 6-6 sending the match into a tie-break which Tim clinched 7-5.

In the second round Tim will be up against the Spaniard David Sanchez who he has played only once before in Doha (Qatar) in 2004 and won 6-4 6-0.

After the match today a relieved Tim Henman said:

"The win was the most important thing.

"The conditions were tough. The ball was very lively and difficult to control but, if I can adapt to that and serve more consistently, I can do better than today."

"He's (David Sanchez) won clay court titles before and it is his best surface but I think my game matches up pretty well against his.

"I need to be a little more consistent but maintain the aggressive play because when I do that I play my best tennis."

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