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Henman cruises through.

TENNIS: Tim Henman cruised past Chile's Nicolas Massu in the second round of the Masters Series event in Monte Carlo with 6-1 7-6 (7-3) victory yesterday.

Henman made the perfect start by breaking his opponent's serve in the opening game, and saved a break point in the next game to consolidate the break.

Massu has already won a clay court title this year in Buenos Aires, but looked completely out of sorts as Henman broke for the second time and a 4-1 lead.

A sharp blow on the nose from a Henman volley in the sixth game did little to help Massu's cause, and a simple forehand into the net gifted the British number one the set 6-1.

Massu raised his arms to the sky in a mock salute after holding serve for only the second time in the match to make it 1-1 in the second set, as the first 12 games went with serve.

Henman, the fourth seed, was always in control in the tie-break, a weak Massu backhand into the net helping him into a 4-1 lead.

Massu reduced the deficit to 4-3, but after Henman had carved out three match points, the Chilean's afternoon came to a timid end with a double fault for a 6-1 7-6 (7-3) Henman win.

Henman will now take on clay court specialist Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina, who beat last year's Monte Carlo finalist Hicham Arazi for the loss of only two games earlier in the day.

"I'm very pleased, " said Henman. "I started much better than I did yesterday and that gave me a lot of confidence early on.

"The second set was a lot tighter but I was holding serve well and I knew that if I was patient my chance would come.

"Every year my clay court game has improved and this year I feel I'm playing well."

BASKETBALL: Chester Jets head coach Robbie Peers has been rewarded for leading his team to three trophies by being voted the Nurishment Coach of the Year.

The Jets have already taken the National Cup, BBL Trophy and Northern Conference title, and if they win the BBL Championship final on April 27 they will become only the second team to complete a clean sweep of domestic honours.

Nick Nurse, coach of the Brighton Bears, was named runnerup after leading the club to second place in the Southern Conference.

BOXING: Julius Long, the 7ft 1in self-styled "Towering Inferno", ignited instantly when he came face to face with Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist Audley Harrison (right).

"I don't know too much about him, I've just heard he's an overrated bum, " said Long yesterday, who will be Harrison's fourth professional opponent at Wembley Conference Centre on Saturday night.

He derided Harrison's achievement at Sydney 2000 - the first by an English boxer for 32 years - as he blasted: "I didn't watch him at the Olympics, I was busy doing my own thing.

"And I haven't seen him fight on video. I've heard somebody gave him a medal - they give them out nowadays - but I'm not giving him this fight. He's overrated, he hasn't fought anybody."
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2002
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