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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
Henman & Rusedski make early exit
Tim Henman
Britons Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski both suffered first-round defeats at the US Open on Monday.

Henman's disappointing season continued as he crumbled to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 defeat to Fernando Verdasco.

The 12th seed was troubled by a back injury in the lead-up to the tournament and it clearly affected him.

Rusedski then ran into an in-form James Blake and went down 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 6-3, despite earning set points in the opening two sets.

Big-hitting Spaniard Verdasco wrapped up victory over Henman in less than two hours.

If you're not healthy you can't compete at this level
Tim Henman

Henman has won only one match since crashing out of Wimbledon and this defeat means he has failed to advance beyond the third round at any of this year's Grand Slam tournaments.

There was little chance of the 30-year-old repeating last year's run to the semis once he was broken in the seventh game of the first set.

Having lost the first set, he dropped serve twice in each of the next two sets as 20-year-old left-hander Verdasco cruised to victory.

"It's very frustrating," Henman said of his back injury, an inflammation which flared up last week.

"If you're not healthy you can't compete at this level. After having my best year in Slams last year it's probably one of my most disappointing."

Rusedski put in a strong performance against Blake but the American continued the form that saw him win the New Haven title last week.

"I didn't take my chances in the first set and in the second I had two set points and he hits two aces," said Rusedski. "You can't do much about that.

"I didn't play badly. I played better than last year. I just did not take my chances in the first two sets."

Interview: Tim Henman

Interview: Greg Rusedski

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