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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 January, 2005, 02:25 GMT
Davydenko humbles hapless Henman
Tim Henman
Henman made 32 unforced errors
Tim Henman's Australian Open campaign fell apart in the face of an onslaught from 26th seed Nikolay Davydenko.

The Russian made a fast start, breaking the Briton's opening service game, and never looked back, winning 6-4 6-2 6-2.

Henman, seeded seven in Melbourne, struggled to find any rhythm and looked frustrated throughout.

He made numerous unforced errors and looked lethargic on court, in stark contrast to his lively opponent, who reeled off a number of fizzing passes.

Henman's game never clicked and his frustration grew as Davydenko continued to dominate proceedings.

I heard Elena Baltacha say the other day she got her arse kicked, and I belong in the same bracket
Tim Henman

From his serve to his normally solid volleying at the net, the British number one's game was a shadow of the heights it hit in 2004.

But he refused to offer any excuses for his inept display, insisting: "I was 100% out there.

"I heard Elena Baltacha say the other day she got her arse kicked, and I belong in the same bracket.

"I think a lot has to do with my opponent. There were times when I was coming in on some really good balls and he came up with the answers.

"I definitely did not play my best but I was not allowed to.

"His level never dropped. The better player won by a margin but I have played many matches where I have played worse and won.

"His level was much, much better than mine, the scoreline does not lie.

The first question has to be 'did he underestimate his opponent?' I think he did
Pat Cash

"I'm totally gutted. My expectations were obviously for a lot more. You have to keep trying to learn from it, but it does not get any easier."

Henman had high hopes of making a long overdue impact on the first Grand Slam event of the year down under.

But despite beating Davydenko in both of their previous meetings, going on to win the respective tournament in each case, he was on the back foot straight from the start.

Henman dropped the opening game on serve and was immediately playing catch up against Davydenko, who chased down everything in an effort to maintain his advantage.

The Russian hit 31 winners, mostly on his forehand, while Henman's play was frequently dogged by weary roars of desperation.

Highlights: Henman crashes out of Australian Open

Interview: Tim Henman

Gamewatch: Henman v Davydenko
21 Jan 05 |  Tennis

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