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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 20:25 GMT
Brilliant Henman sinks Federer
Tim Henman
Tim Henman was in stunning form once more as he saw off third seed and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 at the Paris Masters.

Henman, who beat Sebastien Grosjean and Gustavo Kuerten in previous rounds, will face world number one Andy Roddick on Saturday for a place in the final.

Federer wasted two set points at 6-5 in the first set and could not recover.

Henman took the first set after a thrilling tiebreak before racing through the second as Federer wilted.

"I've never played with such consistency," Henman said.

"I don't think I missed one volley and I hardly made any unforced errors on the baseline."

The Briton began the match tentatively but was jolted into action when Federer threatened to clinch the first set.

On the Swiss player's second set point, Henman charged back to reach a lob and managed to whip it back into court for a surprised Federer to send his reply wide.

Federer was fatigued in the second set, whereas I was fresh all the way through
Tim Henman
Federer responded by going up a mini-break in the tiebreak but Henman refused to lie down and battled back to a 5-3 lead.

A fabulous backhand winner gave him three set points and though he missed the first two, one with a nervy double fault, he finally grabbed the advantage when Federer went wide with a forehand.

Henman hit top gear in the second set, while a forlorn-looking Federer simply collapsed.

The British number one broke for a 3-1 lead and secured a 5-1 advantage when Federer lashed an overhead into the tramlines.

And the unseeded Henman wrapped up the win in superb style with an ace.

"It was another good match," the 29-year-old said. "Federer was fatigued in the second set, whereas I was fresh all the way through the match.

"I knew he had played a lot of matches and I had that in the back of my mind when I came out on court - I wanted to keep him out there as long as possible."

Even if he loses in the last four, Henman will see his world ranking rise to a projected 23 on Monday, virtually guaranteeing him a seeding at the Australian Open.

But while Henman was delighted with his performance, Federer was understandably downcast about his.

"This was the worst week ever," he said. "It doesn't give me confidence at all going into the Masters Cup in Houston."


WATCH AND LISTEN
British number one Tim Henman
"I was pretty happy to see him tired at the end"


BBC Five Live's Jonathan Overend
"What a collection of scalps, all players around the top ten"



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