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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Gasquet rolls at Nottingham; Henman ousted

Associated Press

NOTTINGHAM, England -- Two-time defending champion Richard Gasquet beat Jan Vacek 6-4, 6-0 in the second round of the Nottingham Open on Wednesday to keep alive his unbeaten record at the key Wimbledon warmup.

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Tim Henman was ousted by second-seeded Dmitry Tursunov 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3.

The top-seeded Gasquet easily beat Czech qualifier Vacek for his 12th straight win on the grass courts of Nottingham to reach the quarterfinals, where he will meet Arnaud Clement.

"I know him [Clement] and he's a friend, and it's never easy to play against a friend," Gasquet said. "I played great today. I won last year, so I have to be confident. It wasn't easy with the wind."

Henman struggled against the serve of his 24th-ranked opponent and was broken in the fourth game before rallying to force a tiebreak, which he lost after leading 6-3 with two serves in hand.

Henman's superiority at the net gave him the second set, but the Russian player used his powerful groundstrokes to seal the final set with two breaks of serve.

While Tursunov advanced to the quarterfinals, Henman's loss means he has won just two ATP Tour matches this year -- including Tuesday's first-round win over Michael Russell.

Henman has slipped to No. 78 -- his lowest ranking in 11 years. He is a four-time semifinalist at Wimbledon but last reached the final four in 2002 and exited in the second round the past two years.

Tursunov is seeded 22nd for Wimbledon, which starts Monday.

Fourth-seeded Jonas Bjorkman, who lost last year's final to Gasquet, beat Amer Delic of the United States 7-5, 7-6 (2) to reach the quarterfinals also.

In other second-round matches, Clement beat Teimuraz Gabashvilli 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3, while Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Sebastien Grosjean 6-4, 6-3.

Lee Hyung-taik, Juan Martin del Potro and Ivo Karlovic also advanced.