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Hewitt stops Henman in Rotterdam

Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt has never lost against Henman.

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -- Lleyton Hewitt reached his second final of the season with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Tim Henman at the ABN Amro tournament.

The Australian sixth seed has never lost to the Briton -- who beat world number one Roger Federer late on Friday -- in seven meetings.

In the finasl Hewitt faces Spanish second seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, who beat defending champion Max Mirnyi 6-7 6-3 7-6.

Henman, a three failed to re-produce the form that ended Federer's 16-match winning streak on Friday, dropping his serve in the third game and winning just four points on the Australian's serve before being broken again to lose the set.

Hewitt dropped his serve in the first game of the second set, but Henman's hopes of fighting back into the match were quashed when Hewitt broke back to level at 2-2 and then broke again before serving out the match.

"I feel like I'm capable of beating anyone on any given day," said former world number one Hewitt.

"I've really got no idea why I've got a good record against Henman. Maybe my game doesn't match up that well against him but I've played pretty well every time I've played against him."

Henman had been hoping to reach the final of the indoor event for the fourth time.

"I was disappointed with the standard I played. Whenever I play Lleyton, my biggest problem is that I play a little bit over aggressively and that produces the mistakes," said Henman.

"I know the right way to play against Lleyton but my execution is not good enough and that's an exciting challenge for me to overcome that."

Mirnyi looked stronger through most of the first two sets against Ferrero, with a serve that frequently exceeded 200 kph (125 mph) and once sent Ferrero diving to the floor.

But after breaking Mirnyi in the eighth game of the second set, the Spaniard served out the set and regularly threatened Mirnyi's serve for the remainder of the match.

Each player broke once in the third set, but Ferrero took an early lead in the tiebreaker and held on.

"I'm in the final now, and I'll try to win," he said, adding, "if possible, I'll do it easier."

Federer pulls out

Swiss world number one Roger Federer will not defend his Marseille ATP title next week after picking up a right foot injury playing Henman on Friday.

Organizers in Marseille said the Swiss ace had turned up at the French south coast port to undergo a medical with the tournament's official doctor.

The Henman defeat brought to an end Federer's 16-match winning streak stretching back to October.


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