Henman passes first test

Tim Henman defied the curse of Wimbledon's graveyard court to ease his way into the second round.

The British number one was in imperious form as he swept aside Russian qualifier Artem Derepasko 6-1 6-1 6-1 out on Court Two, known as the 'Graveyard of the seeds' for its propensity for big-named shocks.

So great was the gulf in class, however, that at times it resembled a practice match with Henman handing out some coaching lessons to the 21-year-old who was playing his first Grand Slam match and only his second ATP tour match.

Henman did lose his service in the third game of the match, but it had more to do with the troublesome sun in a cloudless blue sky rather than the efficiency of his opponent.

From then on it was a case of whether the Russian would win another game as Henman began to groove his groundstrokes and hone his improved service.

Derepasko's game disintegrated in the second set as Henman took complete charge and though he mounted a rally with more thoughtful tennis in the third he could still not stem the Henman attacking pressure.

Indeed, in the sixth game of the third Henman managed to break serve despite slipping on the baseline and leaving the entire court free for the Russian's volley, which he still managed to hit wide.

And so Henman served out to take the match with a majestic ace and cruise into the second round.

• Fourth-seeded Russian Marat Safin booked his place in the second round of the men's singles with a 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-3 defeat of Julian Knowle.

The 20-year-old was rarely troubled early on by the unseeded Austrian and took the first set 6-2.

The second set was a tighter affair but Safin prevailed, breaking his opponent in the 12th game to avoid a tie-break.

Knowle started the third set brightly, breaking Safin, and after a scrappy series of games served out to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

But Safin, who had struggled to get his game together, finished the stronger and a 6-3 success in the fourth set earned him a place in the second round.

Goran Ivanisevic also progressed to the second round and then admitted: "I shouldn't even be here".

The Croatian, three times a runner-up at the All England Club, beat Sweden's Fredrik Jonsson 6-4 6-4 6-4 despite the pain of a long-standing shoulder problem which is threatening his career.

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