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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 19:08 GMT 20:08 UK
Henman reaches semi-finals
Tim Henman
Tim Henman brushed aside the challenge of 22nd seed Juan Ignacio Chela to reach the semi-finals of the French Open for the first time.

Henman dictated play from the start, breaking Chela in the first game of the match, and never allowed the Argentine clay-courter to get into a rhythm.

The Briton again broke at the start of the second set and although Chela upped his level he was always second best.

One more break in the third was sufficient as Henman won 6-2 6-4 6-4.

The 29-year-old will now face third seed and tournament favourite Guillermo Coria in the semi-finals.

Henman is the first British man since Mike Sangster in 1963 to reach the last four at the French Open.

It's a good sense of achievement, but why stop here?
Should he upset Coria, Henman would match Bunny Austin's run to the final in 1937.

Until this year, Henman's best Grand Slam performances had all come on grass at Wimbledon where he has been a semi-finalist four times.

Against Chela, he was irresistible.

He raced through the first set in just 30 minutes with two breaks in the first and seventh games, hitting winners at will from the baseline and at the net.

The ninth seed opened the second set with another break, gave it back with a double fault in the second but carved out a crucial second in the third game with a wonderful drop volley.

A pinpoint backhand volley set up set point in the second set and he wrapped it up when the Argentine netted a return.

Chela, a favourite to beat Henman, could find no answer to the Briton's relentless attacking game.

He was broken again in the fifth game of the third set and Henman then served two love games to move to 5-3.

Chela held for 5-4 but an ace from Henman set up match point and he booked his semi-final place with another assured volley.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Overend
"Chela didn't know what was hitting him"


Tim Henman
"I'm imposing my style from the first point"




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