Tim Gets a Break in Open Battle; TENNIS: Tim's Opponent Pulls out with Stomach Muscle Injury

Article excerpt

TIM HENMAN is through to the last 32 of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

A stomach muscle injury forced second-round opponent Rainer Schuttler to quit after less than an hour's play earlier today.

First troubled earlier this month, the 23-year-old German lost the opening set 6-2 and, after receiving treatment, decided at 4-1 down in the second that he could not continue.

Eleventh seed Henman next plays France's Sebastian Grosjean, whom he beat in four sets en route to the Wimbledon semi-finals last summer.

He is already left to fly the British flag on his own, however. Qualifier Julie Pullin, from Hove, went out 6-3 2-6 9-7 to Chinese player Yi Jing- qian - after holding a match point at 6-5 in the marathon final set.

As well as breaking in the third and seventh games of the first set, Henman dropped only two points on his own serve.

He took Schuttler's serve in the third game of the second set as well - after first missing nine break points - and when the German netted a high backhand volley to fall 4-1 down he called it a day.

The bonus of the retirement was that it gave Henman the chance to further rest before the harder battles to come.

"After my first match I was a little bit sore and I still feel a little bit stiff.

"But I'm sure that come Friday I will be 100 per cent fresh. …