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Tim Henman
"I felt like I played better than I have in the last few weeks"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
Henman overcomes first round jitters
Henman recovered after a poor first set
T Henman bt P Srichapan 5-7 6-3 6-1 6-3

Britain's Tim Henman survived an early scare against Paradorm Srichaphan of Thailand to win 5-7 6-3 6-1 6-3 and book himself a place in the second round.

Henman looked nervous in the opening set as Srichapan, ranked 104th on the current ATP tour, upset the apple cart by playing some precise ground strokes to silence the most fervent supporters of the Briton.

Recent losses on grass to the unknown American Bob Bryan at Queen's and Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman at Nottingham must have cast seeds of doubt in his Thai opponent's mind over how much more superior Henman was.

And indeed the 21-year-old started to believe that a shock victory was on the cards when he began to play a ruthless serve-and-volley game in the first set.


But once the second set was under way, Henman's confidence was soon restored when Srichaphan missed a number of easy passing shots, which either went wide or failed to climb over the net cord.

Irrespective of his result I had to worry about what I had to do

Tim Henman

The crucial break came in the sixth game of the second set as Henman finally looked to have grabbed hold of the match by the scruff of the neck, returning with interest every shot Srichaphan played at him.

The first signs of 'Henmania' started to blossom as the Briton cantered around Court One stroking a number of delightful winners much to the disdain of his haggard opponent.

Henman raced into 4-0 lead in the fourth and claimed the set and the win after breaking the Thai in the sixth game and serving for the match in the ninth.

It took the 25-year-old little over two hours to finish his work for the day, walking off the court with a look of relief and to a chorus of cheers.

After the match Henman revealed that he had learnt from the mistakes fellow Briton Greg Rusedski had made in his first round defeat at the hands of American Vince Spadea.

"If anything I learned a bit from that," said Henman.

"I watched it on television and Greg had a tough time. I had to avoid a similar situation. At this level it doesn't take much to be on the receiving end of a tough loss.

"Irrespective of his result I had to worry about what I had to do.

"You have to work hard for everything you get. You have to give Srichaphan credit early on."

Henman now faces Goran Ivanisevic's slayer, Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

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See also:

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