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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 October 2006, 06:15 GMT 07:15 UK
Federer outguns Henman in Tokyo
Roger Federer
Federer took his win-loss record over Henman to 7-6
Roger Federer's stranglehold over Tim Henman continued as he strolled to a 6-3 6-3 victory to capture the Japan Open title in Tokyo.

The Swiss world number one racked up a sixth straight win over Britain's number two in 67 minutes to clinch a ninth title in 2006.

"I beat Tim at Wimbledon and the US Open this year but I thought this might be the most dangerous," said Federer.

"To keep winning is a very difficult thing to do. It's fantastic."

Henman gifted Federer his first break with three straight double faults in the sixth game and the top seed closed out the first set with his fifth ace.

"Those three double faults definitely gave me the first set. It gave me a cushion and put the pressure on Tim," said the 25-year-old Federer.

"I guess if you look at it very harshly that cost him the match. If he wants to win that's just a thing he can't do."

Competing against arguably the greatest player of all time is the ultimate test and so it's one that I still enjoy

Tim Henman

Playing for the first time in Japan, and his first event since winning last month's US Open, Federer broke to go 2-1 up in the second set and never let Henman back in as he stormed to his 42nd career title.

"I'm not the first guy to lose to Roger and I won't be the last," said the 32-year-old Henman.

"Roger was too strong for me today and he's a phenomenal player - there's very few that can live with him on any surface other than clay at the moment.

"It's difficult to hurt him as he's got so many strengths and so few weaknesses and, the scary thing is, he's still improving.

"So it's tough to compete with him, especially in the latter stages of tournaments when he's had a chance to build up his confidence, but that's what we've all got to try to do.

"It's a formidable challenge - but competing against arguably the greatest player of all time is the ultimate test and so it's one that I still enjoy.

"It's definitely been a fantastic week for me with the level I've played. It's great motivation and to be back in a big final is fantastic.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go the whole way but there are plenty of positives for me to take from the trip as I feel I've showed on the match court what I've been feeling in practice for a while now."

Federer, who has now won seven of his 13 matches against Henman, improved his record in finals to 42 wins in 55 appearances.

The nine-time Grand Slam singles champion also boosted his win-loss ratio for the year to 77-5.

Henman was playing in his first final since losing to Federer at Indian Wells in 2004. The former British number one won the last of his 11 career titles at the Paris Masters in 2003.



SEE ALSO
Henman cruises through in Japan
03 Oct 06 |  Tennis


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