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  Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
Henman eases past Meligeni
Tim Henman in action at Flushing Meadows
Tim Henman needed only one match point
T Henman (GB, 9) beat F Meligeni (Bra)
6-3 6-4 3-6 6-4

Tim Henman has booked his place in the third round of the US Open with a four-set win over Fernando Meligeni.

Henman looked to be heading for a simple win when he took the first two sets against the Brazilian.

But he suffered a frustrating mid-match slump in the third set and was forced into a fourth before sealing a hard-fought win.

"There was a lot of talking going on in my head," the 26-year-old revealed after his win. "I told myself not to dwell on it but I was pretty frustrated."

The third set apart it was a composed performance from the ninth seed against a flamboyant opponent who frequently played to the crowd.

Henman had lost to the clay-courter in their only previous meeting but always held the upper hand on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows.

After saving a break point in his second service game, the Briton's progress seemed assured as he broke once in each of the opening sets.

Turnaround

However in the third, as he began to look a little jaded in a match that rarely raised more than a ripple of applause from the crowd, Henman faltered.

Meligeni, who had looked down-and-out only moments before, suddenly looked in control, racing to a three-love lead.

And the Brazilian was transformed from the disconsolate figure of the first two sets into a vibrant entertainer, mimicking line judges and playing attractive tennis to the delight of the crowd.

However Henman remained focused on the task in hand and, after seeing out the third set, had the advantage of serving first throughout the fourth.

The Briton's Grand Slam experience showed as he calmly stayed ahead until Meligeni faced the prospect of serving to stay in the match at 5-4.

The pressure told and, from 30-15, two unforced errors from the Brazilian proved enough to give Henman victory.

The Briton now meets Belgium's Xavier Malisse, who is coached by David Felgate, Henman's former coach.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"Henman's controlled aggression paid off "
Tim Henman
"I was pleased with the way I regained my rhythmin the fourth set"
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30 Aug 01 | US Open tennis
Links to more US Open tennis stories are at the foot of the page.


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