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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Tim's mother designs tennis kit

By Hannah Bayman
BBC News Online, Southampton

Tennis star Tim Henman is famous for sporting a tennis kit even cleaner than his whiter-than-white image.

Dress from Wimbledon Collection
Jane Henman, a former Wimbledon player, designs with comfort in mind
But his good grooming may not be just down to the famous brand of washing powder he promotes.

For the mother of the British number one has spent her life designing tennis wear - and this month launches a new collection especially for Wimbledon.

Jane Henman, from Bicester in Oxfordshire, has created a range of outfits for women and children, including stretchy pedal pushers and skirts with built in shorts as well as traditional T-shirts and dresses.

Watching her youngest son compete in this year's grand slam brings back memories for Mrs Henman, who also played at Wimbledon, along with her mother and grandmother before her.

Jane and Tony Henman watch son Tim at Wimbledon
Mrs Henman keeps her fingers "permanently crossed" for son Tim
Her grandmother Ellen Mary Stawell Brown, was the first woman to serve overarm there; her mother Susan Billington the last to serve underarm.

In 1977, Mrs Henman made her mark at Wimbledon in a different way, when player Winnie Shaw wowed crowds in one of her designs - a silver-lined halter neck dress.

She had first made her own outfits by hand when playing as a junior at the competition.

Mrs Henman told BBC News Online: "Being a tennis player myself, I design clothes with an awareness of practicality and comfort.

Tim Henman
The British number one is a "big fan" of his mother's designs
"I keep one eye on the high street and another on other tennis designers, blending the tradition of Wimbledon with something more contemporary.

"Tim is a big fan of my designs, along with the rest of my family."

She added: "I have my fingers crossed for him at Wimbledon, but then I have my fingers permanently crossed, week in, week out."

Ms Henman, who once designed for Fred Perry, has her own range of tennis wear, available by mail order, as well as the new collection made by O H Hewett.

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