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Tim Henman
"My game is improving all the time"
 real 28k

Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 20:50 GMT 21:50 UK
Henman back on track
Henman looked to be getting back to his best
Henman looked to be getting back to his best
(8) T Henman Gbr bt Arnaud Clement Fra 6-4 6-4 6-4

Britain's Tim Henman looked to be getting back to his best as he cruised majestically past France's Arnaud Clement in straight sets on Thursday.

Henman's experience on grass told against the smaller, stockier Clement, as the British number one slammed down 16 aces to Clement's three on Centre Court.

Clement, looked almost casual at times, committing a string of unforced errors.

It was good to be back on Centre Court, it was a really good feeling but winning is the best bit

Tim Henman
Henman finished off the Frenchman, who beat three times finalist Goran Ivanisevic in the first round, on his third matchpoint when the Frenchman hit yet another forehand long.

"This place definitely brings a little extra in me," Henman said, saluting the support from the Centre Court crowd.

"It has been evident in the two matches here. My preparation was not ideal but I have already improved a great deal.

"It was good to be back on Centre Court, it was a really good feeling but winning is the best bit.

"I've said before I'd like to take the Centre Court entourage around with me. I just enjoy playing in front of them."

Henman will now face Hicham Arazi of Morocco in the last 32 who earlier beat Sebastien Lareau of Canada 6-3 3-6 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 9-7.

Arnaud Clement made too many errors
Patriotic crowds made sure they gave him their best and "Come on Tim" signs were brandished whenever Henman hit a winner.

Fans had queued all night outside the All England club for another dose of "Henmania" and the young Brit certainly did not disappoint.

Henman survived an early test to take the first set of the match saving two break points in the sixth game, levelling the scores at 3-3 with a thumping ace.

He then broke in the very next game on his way to taking the set 6-4 on centre court.

Henman was quickly up a break in the first game of the second set as Clement's first double fault handed him three break points.

Pep talk

He saved two of those but had no answer as Henman chipped and charged behind a backhand slice inches inside the baseline, leaving him an easy overhead to take the game.

Clement however, fought to get back on level terms as Henman badly misjudged a backhand from his opponent, letting it go only to see it land safely in.

Fortunately for Henman though, Clement simply lacked a big-enough serve to win easy points and the Briton was constantly able to threaten another break which came in the ninth game.

The third set followed a frustratingly similar pattern to the second as Henman surged into a 2-0 lead only to squander his advantage almost immediately.

Henman could be seen giving himself a major pep talk as he threatened to make a meal of what should have a straightforward three-set win.

Ultimately however, Clement's errors allowed Henman back into the ninth game and he took full advantage, a brilliant backhand winner cross court giving him the break and a chance to serve for the match after exactly two hours on court.

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See also:

27 Jun 00 | The Brits
Henman overcomes first round jitters
28 Jun 00 | The Brits
A sense of British pride
27 Jun 00 | Wimbledon2000
Reigning champ eases through
27 Jun 00 | Wimbledon2000
Tauziat brings curtain down
27 Jun 00 | The Brits
Ahl flies the flag
27 Jun 00 | Wimbledon2000
Woodforde injury blow
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