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Last Updated: Friday, 4 June, 2004, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
'Henman showed he could do it'
John McEnroe
BBC Sport commentator and seven-times Grand Slam champion

Tim Henman checks his racket strings druing his match with Guillermo Coria
Henman "has nothing to hang his head about"
I feel like I am on a rollercoaster when I watch Tim Henman play at Wimbledon and it was the same here in Paris.

Tim is going to take a lot of pride from this match - it was unbelievable how well he played.

He played the type of tennis he did here last year against Juan Carlos Ferrero and he was dominating Guillermo Coria in those first two sets.

It was almost too easy at 6-3 4-2 but you sensed Coria was going to make a run at some stage and he got on a tremendous one - 13 games in a row.

I thought it was all over and there was no way back but when Tim started playing again at 3-0 down you felt he could pull it back.

To lose it that way in the end made it a typical Henman match but what we should remember is how he got back into it.

It would have been rough if his run had ended 6-0 6-0, but now we will remember the fight he put up.

He was within an eyelash of taking it to five sets and he had Coria sweating bullets.

But these clay-courters make you hit that extra ball and Coria is so damn fast.

It is unbelievably tough when your game is based on precision like Tim's. These guys are tough to beat and they don't beat themselves.

But Coria wasn't allowed to play well by Tim early on and Henman showed he could do it.

You could see why the crowd got so behind him but it is so difficult to finish off these clay-court players.

When you think of Henman now, you think of a top 10 player
99% of the players out there would be proud to have a career as good as Henman's even if he never wins a 'major'.

It would be nice if he takes that step further and he was only a couple of points away from beating Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon a few years ago.

There is still hope that it could happen and it makes for great interest and expectation with Wimbledon around the corner.

I think Tim has done awfully well. He is not as good a player as Pete Sampras but he has got nothing to hang his head about. He has had an excellent career.

His performances at this French Open have legitimised him as a top 10 player.

It confirms that he is not just about playing well on grass and doing well at Wimbledon.

He has come through some big tests here and it is a big thing for him. When you think of him now, you think of a top 10 player.

John McEnroe was talking on BBC1 following coverage of Tim Henman's defeat to Guillermo Coria in the semi-finals of the French Open.




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