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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 10:13 GMT
Henman cruises into third round
Tim Henman
Tim Henman secured his place in the third round at the Australian Open with a 7-5 6-1 6-4 win over Victor Hanescu.

The Briton made a shaky start, dropping serve in the third game.

But he broke straight back and when the big-serving Hanescu faltered at 5-6, Henman pounced to take the opening set at the first opportunity.

Hanescu rarely threatened thereafter and Henman was able to cruise through to a third-round meeting with Russia's Nicolay Davydenko.

Henman felt his improved attitude had much to do with his confident progress.

"Mentally I feel very comfortable and pretty relaxed about things. There has definitely been self-inflicted pressure in the past which doesn't help anyone."

He added: "There is a bit of the unknown when you have not played someone before and I was taken a bit by suprise the way his serve was coming off the court but I felt like I responded well."

The British number one has not been past the fourth round in Melbourne in eight attempts.

But the omens are good as he has beaten Davydenko in both of their two previous meetings and, after each victory, Henman went onto to win the respective tournament - in Washington and Paris in 2003.

He entered unchartered territory in both the French and US Opens last year despite struggling with illness.

And he says that those performances have given him great confidence.

"When you've made a big breakthrough like that, it's nice to have it quantified on paper that I've been to the semi of slams outside of Wimbledon," added Henman.

"But it was also the nature of it. I was not feeling my best coming into those events.

"My expectations were far less because I didn't really feel capable of competing at 100%.

"I feel I've learned from that a little bit and now I do feel in good physical shape I want to make sure I maintain that attitude."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: Australian Open day four


Interview: Tim Henman




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