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Thursday, November 4, 1999 Published at 16:29 GMT

Sport: Tennis

Henman hustled out of Paris

Tim Henman: Slim hopes of making Hanover

Inconsistency once again claimed Tim Henman as he suffered a 6-1 3-6 6-3 quarter-final defeat to Australian Mark Philippoussis at the Paris Open.

The loss virtually ensures that the Briton will not qualify for the lucrative and prestigious ATP Championships in Hanover.

Henman was blown off the court in the first set as his big-serving opponent hit winner after winner to establish a 5-0 lead. He saved serve once to prevent the whitewash, but never fully regained his composure.

The British number two stuck to his task and grabbed a counter-attacking break early in the second set, which he converted into a set win to force the decider.

Henman haunted

But then the lack of consistency which has dogged Henman's year came back to haunt him. He self-destructed on his own serve, letting the Australian back in with a break in his first service game of the third set.

He missed an easy overhead smash with an open court ahead of him, then double-faulted to effectively hand the set and the match to Philippoussis.

He briefly rallied to save a match point on 30-40 down, holding his serve and making the Australian serve for the match.

Philippoussis made no mistake and battered in a series of ferocious shots to close out the quarter-final.

Henman must now win the Stockholm Open next week to stand a chance of qualifying for Hanover, a possibility that looks particularly thin given his current form.

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