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  Monday, 9 July, 2001, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
View from the hill
Henman hill
Henman hill briefly became Henin hill on Sunday
Following Tim Henman's five-set defeat at the hands of Goran Ivanisevic those on the hill were not all full of doom and gloom.

Many who had seen his hopes, and theirs', dashed again were confident that Henman would return to SW19 and take the Wimbledon crown one day.

But that was a relative side issue.

As is the fickle nature of fans, they had already found a new favourite.


That had to be one of his best chances but he's still young and he's still getting better
Victoria Cappers
What had been dubbed 'Henman hill' was now 'Henin hill'.

Those who had shouted themselves hoarse as Henman threatened to become Britain's first men's finalist in 63 years were now throwing their support behind Justine Henin.

However, the fans who had come prepared for the worst in terms of the weather were to face more heartache of the tennis variety.

The Belgian lost to Venus Williams in three sets but it had been good while it lasted.

"As soon as she gets a point everyone cheers and when Venus makes a mistake everyone cheers - it's brilliant!" Victoria Cappers from London said.

Henman hill
Henman fans drowned their sorrows
But what about Britain's best, Tiger Tim? His run to the last four had also been good while it lasted.

"It was, and it was great to be here - a brilliant atmosphere.

"That had to be one of his best chances with Sampras out, but he's still young and he's still getting better," she added.

It is nice to hear such confidence in Henman's abilities, which is more than can be said for Marshal and Jackson from Doncaster who had a "bad feeling" when they arrived at the All England Club.

The defeat had forced them to drown their sorrows with beer and wine.

An American couple, Scott and Lucy, had a different therapy - a game of cards.

Scott was not that bothered about Britain's best when he turned up on the hill but had soon changed his mind.


I think (Henman's) really boring
Donald Dunachie
"I got swept along by the atmosphere and ended up supporting Tim."

"It's sad that he lost but he'll be back next year," was Lucy's view.

An American supporting a Brit is one thing but a Scotsman supporting an Englishman is another.

"I'm really not bothered as I think he's really boring," was Donald Dunachie's verdict.

"If he can't win it this year he'll never win it," he added with a chuckle at the expense of his sister who had come down from Paisley to see Henman in action.

"I'm more patriotic and I think it's sad," Ruth said, ignoring her brother's laughter.

"I don't know if he's missed his chance, I suppose we'll have to wait and see, but he's just done a really good interview and he has the right attitude."

The interview came on the big screen in the rain delay just when Henin was threatening to steal Henman's thunder.

The faithful fans sat hanging on Tim's every word, and the hill, even in defeat, was Henman's once more.

Wimbledon site

Men's singles final

Ladies' singles final

Henman's defeat

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Scores and seeds

SOL at Wimbledon

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See also:

08 Jul 01 | Sports Talk
08 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
08 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
04 Jul 01 | SOL at Wimbledon
Links to more SOL at Wimbledon stories are at the foot of the page.


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