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  Monday, 25 June, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Henman through in three
Tim Henman
Henman was rarely stretched in his first round match
Tim Henman (GB, 6) beat Artem Derepasko (Rus) 6-1 6-1 6-1

Tim Henman has won his opening match at Wimbledon, beating Artem Derepasko in straight sets.

The Russian qualifier troubled Henman in the opening exchanges but was ultimately swept aside with ease.

And Henman emphasised the gulf in class between the two players when he closed the match out with an ace to win 6-1 6-1 6-1.

"In any tournament the first match is sometimes not the easiest and I was really pleased with my performace," Henman said after the match.

On his way to victory Henman also enjoyed a run of nine winning games.

However the sixth seed had to work hard to gain the upperhand on Court Two which is renowned as being a graveyard for seeds.

Artem Derepasko
Derepasko is ranked 272 in the world
"I wasn't expecting to play on Court Two but it certainly wasn't a problem for me and it is where I won my first ever match at Wimbledon.

"Although I enjoyed it out there I'm looking forward to getting back to Number One or Centre Court," he added.

The opening five games of the match went to deuce and Henman lost his second service game when he "struggled" with the glare of the sun.

Henman was in danger of losing his third service game as well but from 0-30 down he reeled off four successive winners against a player in his first Grand Slam match.

And from that stage on Deperasko's game disintergrated as Henman found his rhythm and took control.

Henman's hard work on his drop volley and his second serve - which many perceive as his weakness - was in evidence as he only dropped two more games before wrapping up the match in 78 minutes.

In his attempts to become the first British winner since Fred Perry in 1936 Henman is aware that the spotlight is on him but refuses to let it burden him.

"There are high expectations which has been the case since 1996.

"There is no change in pressure and it is something you have to learn to deal with," Henman added.

Henman faces a Wimbledon without a coach for the first time after splitting from David Felgate earlier in the year.

But he dismissed speculation linking him with former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

"He's not the only one who has offered their services but I'm quite happy with the way things are at the moment."

The Briton will be even happier if he can return to Wimbledon's show courts for the second round when he will play either compatriot Martin Lee or Italy's Gianluca Pozzi.

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Tim Henman
"I was really pleased with my performance"
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25 Jun 01 | Wimbledon 2001
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