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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Peerless Federer humbles Henman
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Roger Federer
Federer has taken his winning streak to 43 matches on grass
Tim Henman's Wimbledon challenge ended for another year as defending champion Roger Federer gave a superb performance in their second-round clash.

The match had been eagerly anticipated as it pitted the home favourite against a legend in the making, but in the end it was a masterclass from Federer.

Henman dropped serve in game three and never got back in the match as Federer powered to a 6-4 6-0 6-2 win.

Federer will next face France's Nicolas Mahut in the third round.

Henman and Federer's match was bumped up the schedule after Kim Clijsters was handed a walkover in her match.

Maybe the Centre Court crowd was caught unaware, or perhaps they had little faith in their man causing the upset of the year, but the atmosphere was unexpectedly flat.

It's so difficult to play against the crowd and to play against a player like Tim

Roger Federer

Henman began well enough, holding serve in the opening game, but it did not take long for the pressure to tell.

In his next service game the Briton missed a backhand, a forehand and then two volleys to give up the break.

Playing catch-up against the world number one is an almost impossible task, and when Federer saved two break points in game eight it already felt like Henman's chance had gone.

Federer served out the set serenely and then chose the start of the second to step up another gear.

Henman slipped to 0-40 in the first game with a wayward backhand before putting a sliced approach wide to hand Federer a second break.

That prompted the champion to produce a blistering display of tennis, reeling off six games without reply in just 20 minutes to go two sets up.

And the Swiss did not stop there, racing to 4-0 in the second before Henman saved his blushes by getting back on the scoreboard with a service hold.

It did not bother Federer, however, and the three-times champion comfortably sealed the win to take his grass-court streak to 43 matches.

"You always feel under pressure and have the feeling the match could turn around," Federer told BBC Sport afterwards.

"I think I just played a really good match. It's so difficult to play against the crowd and to play against a player like Tim.

"I'm very, very happy and it's something I didn't expect."

SEE ALSO
Gamewatch: Federer v Henman
28 Jun 06 |  Tennis
Henman's big day falls flat
28 Jun 06 |  Tennis
BBC pundits on Henman
28 Jun 06 |  Tennis
The Britometer
27 Jun 06 |  Tennis


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