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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Henman back from brink
Tim Henman
Henman was lacklustre in the first two sets
Tim Henman fought back from two sets down to beat Cyril Saulnier in the first round of the French Open.

The British number one looked doomed when he went 6-4 6-4 down to his unseeded French opponent.

But he finally began to display some urgency and authority - while Saulnier looked increasingly nervous - to send the match into a deciding set.

And Henman kept his composure in a thrilling fifth set to clinch a 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 victory.

In the end I won on determination and guts
Tim Henman
Henman had only once before recovered from two sets down to win a competitive match - against Slava Dosedel of the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup in 2000.

He has arrived in Paris in optimistic mood after some impressive clay-court displays this summer, but was alarmingly lacklustre in the opening two sets.

A break in the first game of the match proved enough for Saulnier to move 6-4 ahead.

And Henman failed to capitalise on four break points in the final game of the second set to again go down 6-4.

But he finally found his form in the third set, which went with serve before Henman easily took the tiebreak 7-2.

While Henman started to rediscover the kind of form that had seen him reach the last eight in Monte Carlo last month, Saulnier was beginning to look increasingly tentative in front of his home crowd.

Henman broke Saulnier twice to clinch the fourth set.

And although he went 2-0 down in the decider, he played some scintillating tennis to break back twice and clinch the set 6-3.

Henman will take on the winner of the match between Germany's Lars Burgsmueller and French wildcard Nicolas Mahut in the second round.




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Tim Henman
"My energy levels are really low"



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