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  Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Henman marches on
Tim Henman
Henman has reached his third Wimbledon semi-final
Tim Henman (6) beat Roger Federer (15) 7-5 7-6 2-6 7-6

Tim Henman produced an inspired display to beat Roger Federer in four sets and keep his Wimbledon dream alive.

Henman now faces Goran Ivanisevic, conqueror of fourth seed Marat Safin, for a place in his first Grand Slam final. The other semi-final will be between Pat Rafter and Andre Agassi.

Henman's relief after the match was visible and he admitted the tension had got to him towards the end.


I knew in the fourth set it was important to stamp my authority again and I managed to do that
Tim Henman
"It was tough, there was a lot of pressure, and I got a little nervous when it got a little close for comfort," said Henman.

"But I managed to regroup and that gave me a certain amount of relief.

"The first two sets I played quite faultless tennis, and I was really pleased with my serve and volley game.

"It was almost inevitable that after that there would be a dip, but that is not excusable and it was not what I wanted.

"I knew in the fourth set it was important to stamp my authority again and I managed to do that."

Dramatic swing

The Briton had started in the same confident mood that saw him past Todd Martin on Tuesday, but found Federer in the kind of form that saw off Pete Sampras.

After a break each early in the first set it was Henman who made the crucial third break in the 11th game, and he took the set with a love service game.

Roger Federer
Federer found Henman in inspired form
With both players in dominant form on serve, the second set was also a desperately tight affair that always looked like ending in a tie-break.

Henman got the first mini-break but it looked like slipping away when Federer hit back with two fierce backhand passes to go 6-3 ahead.

The match then swung dramatically in Henman's favour as he produced a string of winners to claim the tie-break 8-6 and move two sets clear.

Extreme pressure

It was no surprise that the level of Henman's play then dipped and Federer took full advantage, breaking in the third and fifth games to take the third set 6-2.

The match was now hanging in the balance and it took some masterful all-court play from Henman to regain control.

Attacking the net on Federer's serve, he put the Swiss under extreme pressure and forced a wild forehand error to take a 3-1 lead in the fourth set.


It's just nice not to have to play Sampras again
Tim Henman on the semi-final
But there was more drama to follow as Henman faced seven break-points in the next two games before finally succumbing as he served for the match at 5-3, and Federer quickly made it 5-5.

It came down to another tie-break, and after trailing 5-2 Henman again came from behind to edge into the last four on his second match point.

Ivanisevic and his awesome serving now lie in wait, but Henman is not complaining.

"It's just nice not to have to play Sampras again," said Henman.

"But Goran is playing well and has been getting plenty of support and he will be tough."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend
"The Centre Court crowd certainly know the procedure"
Britain's Tim Henman
"I was pleased to get the job done"
Wimbledon site

Men's singles final

Ladies' singles final

Henman's defeat

Other finals

Scores and seeds

SOL at Wimbledon

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Links to more Wimbledon 2001 stories are at the foot of the page.


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