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Federer rolls, Murray beats Henman in Toronto

World number one Federer won his 14th match in a row while James Blake, Tim Henman and Lleyton Hewitt lost at the ATP Masters Series.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 12:09 IST

World number one Roger Federer won his 14th match in a row while fifth seed James Blake, Britain's Tim Henman and Australian Lleyton Hewitt lost Wednesday at the ATP Masters Series event in Toronto.

Federer rolled past France's Sebastien Grosjean 6-3, 6-3 in a second-round match at the 2.45 million-dollar tournament, a warm-up for the US Open which starts later this month.

"It was a great win for me. I was able to be aggressive, serve and volley and come in a little bit," Federer said.

"I was really pleased at the way I played because he's a tough player."

Improving to 58-4 this year, the Wimbledon and Australian Open champion advanced to face Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who avenged a Los Angeles final loss by ousting Germany's Tommy Haas 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.

Scottish 19-year-old prodigy Andy Murray defeated England's Henman 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) in the "Battle of Britain" while Hewitt was forced out by a right knee injury with Sweden's Thomas Johansson leading 6-3, 3-2.

France's Richard Gasquet staged the day's biggest shocker, ousting American Blake 6-4, 6-3. Also falling was Spanish seventh seed Tommy Robredo, who fell to Argentina's Jose Acasuso 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Gasquet rated the victory as likely his best since downing Federer last year at Monte Carlo.

"It's a great performance because I (beat) him here, not on clay court. It was on a hard court here in Toronto, so it's a great performance for me. I played a fantastic match. I am really, really happy to win this match."

Swiss star Federer said he needed only days to recover from his Wimbledon triumph rather than weeks as in past seasons, an encouraging sign as he prepares for the year's final Grand Slam event.

"I've been able to eliminate many matches I would have lost in the past because of mental fatigue," Federer said. "That hardly ever happens anymore because my preparation is so much better.

"I've passed all the tests. It's just now for me to enjoy the tour, try to win as many matches (as I can) because that's what makes me the most happy."

Murray defeated Henman at the Swiss Indoors last year in their only prior ATP meeting and was making it look easy with a 5-2 edge in the second set.

"Having won against him the first time, I felt a little bit more confident this time," Murray said. "I wasn't in awe of him as much as I was the first time I played against him.

"It is difficult because he's a good friend of mine, someone that's helped me a lot. He has given me good advice. To go out and try and beat them, beat them badly, isn't the easiest thing to do."

But a sluggish Henman revived to win four games in a row to lead 6-5 and serve for the set.

"I was beginning to change the momentum," Henman said. "Andy had dominated the early part of the match and gotten himself into a good position. At that stage I was going to throw caution to the wind and just go with my shots.

"I actually played some good tennis then."

Murray broke to force the tie-breaker in an emotional game that saw a bag blowing in the wind halt one point and Henman net a volley with an open court yawning before him to blow a chance at a third set.

"It would have been good if I could have got it to a set all," Henman said. "Obviously missing a shot that is pretty basic, it's a shot I shouldn't miss, wouldn't normally miss. To miss it on a set point was pretty costly."

Murray, a runner-up last week at Washington, dominated the tie-breaker, closing out Henman on a backhand winner to book a date with Spain's Carlos Moya.

"He's adding to his game, getting a little more aggressive," Henman said of Murray. "I think he's a lot more confident. He's having a good couple weeks. I'm sure he's keen to keep building on that."

Fourth seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia advanced by defeating France's Arnaud Clement, a winner last week in Washington, by 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.

Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan was ousted by Belgian Xavier Malisse 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

South Korea's Lee Hyung-Taik was the latest victim of Spanish star Rafael Nadal, losing 6-4, 6-3.

First Published: Aug 10, 2006 12:09 IST