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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 November, 2003, 16:14 GMT
Henman stuns Roddick
Andy Roddick and Tim Henman
Roddick has been beaten only four times since July - twice by Henman
Tim Henman maintained his superb form to reach the final of the Paris Masters with a 7-6 7-6 win over world number one Andy Roddick.

Henman came through a tense encounter despite failing to convert his first five match points.

The British number one goes on to meet Andrei Pavel in Sunday's final after he beat Czech Jiri Novak 6-2 4-6 6-4.

"This is the most consistently I've played, but the job's not done, I've got a big day tomorrow," Henman said.

It will be the third Masters final of Henman's career, having lost in Indian Wells last year and Cincinnati in 2000.

Henman has spoken all week of a new relaxed approach and it was evident from the opening moments.

Tim played great tennis today and looking at the players he's beaten here it's pretty impressive
Andy Roddick
He began in the kind of form that saw him beat Wimbledon champion Roger Federer on Thursday, breaking Roddick's serve in the opening game.

Roddick grew increasingly frustrated, slamming his racket to the ground after Henman saved three break points with big serves in game eight.

However, the Briton was clearly nervous when serving at 5-4 and lost the game to love.

The momentum seemed to have shifted to Roddick but with the score locked at 4-4 in the tie-break he missed a pass, and Henman coolly served out the set.

Roddick came under increasing pressure as the second set progressed, with Henman looking close to the crucial break at 3-3 and deuce.

A match point followed for Henman at 5-4 but Roddick controlled the point, producing a solid backhand volley.

It came down to another tie-break and, after being pegged back from 6-3 and 7-6 up, Henman finally took it 9-7 to end the second seed's challenge.

Andy Roddick
"The start of the match was pretty important, the first five games set the tone and boosted my confidence," said Henman afterwards.

"I sent a message to Andy that I was serving well, and even when he came back at 5-5 I thought there was no need to panic.

"In the second set, I also had ups and downs but that is the way the tennis goes, and I was quite happy when he missed his shot on my sixth match point.

"Now I have my chance tomorrow. I came into this tournament hoping to finish on a high note, and I am on a high note now, though I hope it will be a higher note tomorrow."

Roddick, who will replace Juan Carlos Ferrero as world number one when the rankings are released on Monday, admitted he had not played well enough against an inspired opponent.

"I guess I should have served more consistently throughout the game," said Roddick.

"But it is very difficult against a player like Henman who puts a lot of pressure on his returns.

"My serve was very good in the past few days but obviously I can't always have what I want all the time - but Tim was the best player on court anyway."

Pavel booked his place in the final in the final after he beat Novak in three sets, 6-2 4-6 6-4.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Overend
"Henman played superbly for the fourth day in succession"


Tim Henman
"I want to make sure I finish off the job in the final"



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