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Adelaide, January 2, 2001

It is an increasingly rare sight for British tennis fans to see the country's two leading men's players confront each on court as Greg Rusedski, the Canadian born player who became a British citizen and has won affection in British fan's hearts, has slipped over the past two seasons from being in the world's top ten to being ranked 69th while his rival for the British number one spot, Tim Henman, has resolutely stayed in the top sixteen of the rankings, improving if anything and notching up a win in 2000 over the former number one, Pete Sampras.

Is it the end for Rusedski in the top flight? He has taken on a Wimbledon winner, Pat Cash, as his coach recently and they are attempting to reconstruct his game entirely. As the player said after the game, "it's very hard when you change your forehand, your backhand, your volley, your serve and return of serve in a month and then try to play a tournament."

Henman, on the other hand, is in good form and second seed here in Adelaide He took out Rusedski in only two sets 6-2, 7-6 in the first round although Rusedski, ever known for his comebacks and skill in fighting through tiebreaks, fought gamely back in the second set before conceding three double faults in the tiebreak.

Henman speaking afterwards said, "I was pleased with every aspect of my game. I thought I played well in the heat. It makes the conditions fast and that suits me."

Rusedski would have preferred an easier first round opponent : "it wasn't easy for either of us. I didn't like the draw when I saw it and I'm sure he didn't. Some days at practice..... I could go out and beat anybody but then there are days when I could go out and lose to my grandmother."