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Hewitt through but Henman falls

March 14, 2006 11:46 IST

Twice former champion Lleyton Hewitt survived a Rainer Schuettler onslaught on Monday to advance 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 into round three of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells.

Tim Henman wasn't as fortunate, though, falling 6-4, 6-4 to Czech Tomas Berdych.

On the women's side, fourth seed Elena Dementieva had to use all her guile to overcome Indian sensation Sania Mirza 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the fourth round.

Young German seventh seed Anna-Lena Groenefeld continued her stellar play with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 over Israel's Anna Smashnova to reach round four and in a marathon three-setter, 17th-seeded Argentine Gisela Dulko stopped French 12th seed Tatiana Golovin 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 to get to the same stage.

Australian Hewitt hasn't won a title in more than a year but continues to play himself deep into tournaments.

In his last two outings, he's reached the finals of events in San Jose and Las Vegas.

Schuettler stood toe-to-toe with the ninth seed in long baseline rallies, but in the end Hewitt simply out-toughed the German.

HENMAN FRUSTRATED

"It was hard to hit winners out there," said Hewitt, who will face Berdych in the third round next. "The conditions were slow and really heavy. The balls were fluffing up a lot and it was hard to crack an egg out there."

It was worse news for Henman.

Consistently contending with a bad back over the past season, the Briton has been unable to regain the form that brought him to the final here four years ago.

Against the talented Berdych, Henman showed signs of his once stellar top 10 game, mixing up his groundstrokes and putting away deft volleys, but the powerful Czech overpowered him at key moments to leave the 31-year-old Henman frustrated.

"I played some good stuff to create opportunities, but I didn't take them," he said.

In two minor men's upsets, France's Paul-Henri Mathieu upended 11th seed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 and Belgium's Xavier Malisse thrashed Czech Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-1.

Sebastien Grosjean of France beat Belgium's Kristof Vliegen 6-1, 6-3, while Croatia's Mario Ancic overcame Italy's Davide Sanguinetti 6-3, 7-6.

 

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