STATOIL MASTERS TENNIS
Santoro Edges Henman In 2012 Final Repeat
Defending champion Fabrice Santoro edged Tim Henman 6-4, 3-6, 10-3 on Friday in a re-match of the 2012 Statoil Masters Tennis final at the Royal Albert Hall.
Should Santoro defeat Mark Philippoussis on Saturday, he will advance to the final once again, where he will face either Goran Ivanisevic or Pat Rafter.
"It was fun to play Tim once again here in the [Royal] Albert Hall,” said Santoro. “He's a crowd favourite and I think we played a good match. It's always a pleasure to see your old competitors in a different atmosphere. Even though we're 40 years old, we're still keeping well and able to play some good tennis and hit some good shots."
Henman added, "The thing that Fabrice has always done well is he's moved so well. He got off to a good start, broke my serve in the first game. I was always playing catch up in the first set. I started to find my range in the second set and got the break. I couldn't quite pull it off in the tie-break. But it was great fun, Friday afternoon, packed house. You can't ask for more than that really.
"He's got an unbelievable repertoire of shots. A lot of them are unorthodox, but so effective and you never quite know what to expect.”
Henman is due back on court in the evening session, when he partners Jamie Murray against Thomas Enqvist and Goran Ivanisevic in the exhibition doubles. "[Murray] was the man who put me into retirement! My back never recovered after carrying him to the Davis Cup win (in 2007),” joked Henman.
In the Legends tournament, Jeremy Bates was forced to retire injured against Mats Wilander when trailing 5-3. The victory for Wilander is his second of the week and puts him into Sunday's final.