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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 22:22 GMT 23:22 UK
The Tim-ometer
THE TIM-OMETER
Tim Henman
LATEST VERDICT: ABSOLUTE ZERO
The pro and anti-Henman public get shirty while former champions wonder how long he has left
Tim Henman was beaten in five sets by unseeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov on Thursday meaning his Wimbledon dream is over for another year.

Henmania is a phenomenon of the UK summer - and this year we are monitoring the mood of the nation with the help of our very own swingometer.

Henman's fortunes have now officially plummeted to ABSOLUTE ZERO and he must wonder how many Wimbledons he has left in him.

Read on for a selection of the latest views from Henman's fans, his detractors, pundits and players before and after his matches.

HIS OPPONENT

Dmitry Tursunov
Russia

Henman didn't play his best match. But there's so much pressure on him.

When you're getting ready for a second serve on break point and someone screams "come on Tim!", after a while that would get to you.

I really don't envy the guy. To have to play with that kind of pressure for so many years is very difficult.

THE PUNDITS

John McEnroe
Three-time Wimbledon champion

Tim got away from what he does best. There were opportunities when he could have attacked more and he hesitated.

Each year that he plays he's got less of a chance of winning it. You can never totally count him out but in these types of conditions it makes it even more difficult.

Tim had his best year last year and it took a lot out of him
John McEnroe

Physically his legs aren't as strong as the other players and his movement at net has become more of a problem because you have to make those quick reactions.

He's got a great family, a couple of kids and there will be a part of him telling him I don't want the grind to continue.

He had his best year last year and it took a lot out of him and I don't think it's surprising he struggled this year.

But I also think he's the type of guy who will want to go out on his terms, when he's still playing well. I would be extremely surprised if he were to stop playing in the next year or two.

Jimmy Connors
Two-time Wimbledon champion

Tim played much better than in the first round but the other kid just rose to the occasion.

Tim is going to have to suffer a little bit and train harder. It will be hard to come back but this is where reputations are made and dreams fade.

If he can step it up it will make him a better player - this might light his fire. Or he could fade back into the pack.

John Lloyd
Former British number one

So many players now can out-hit Tim from the baseline and so many times he looked lightweight in comparison to Tursunov.

How does he find a way to get at them? It just seems to get more and more difficult each year.

He'll pick himself up, but if at some stage he doesn't feel he's a factor in the big events, I don't see Tim staying around just to be part of the tournament.

PRO HENMAN PUBLIC


Pebs
BBC Five Live messageboards

I know I am writing as the Henman fan - but I honestly thought that Tim played well today. He put in a gutsy performance and when he saved the first two match points I nearly took the roof off with screaming!

Unfortunately, I think the last match and, dare I say it, Tim's age caught up with him the end.

The sad thing for me about this, is the backlash that has already started. I popped on to the messageboards before sitting down to write this, and some of the comments there were vicious.

It's a shame people can't accept that Henman goes out and gives it everything and deserves credit for the effort he gives.

And as for those who feel it necessary to slight others for wanting to believe in him and support him - totally unnecessary.

If you can't accept that people support others for more than a guaranteed winning bet, then maybe you need to rethink your attitude to the sport.

ANTI HENMAN PUBLIC


Hadrian
BBC Five Live messageboards

I feel sorry for Henman, as I'm sure most people do. And I was disappointed, as I thought he might have gained enough confidence from his first-round comeback to see him through this match in four sets at worst.

But, to be honest, I'm not all that surprised. The writing was on the wall before the tournament started, when Henman was complaining about the grass and what a struggle it all was - not the attitude of somebody who's going to go far in the tournament.

You need confidence and commitment to play serve-and-volley tennis - hesitation is disastrous. You end up stranded in mid-court, a sitting target for your opponent's passing shots.

You also, I'm afraid, need a powerful, accurate serve. Henman has never really had the serve, and now he's lost the confidence as well. I can't see it ever coming back - not on grass.

He has ranking points to defend at the US Open. He probably won't. He'd never been to the semis before last year and everything that's happened this year suggests it was a blip.

He'll be lucky to end the year inside the top 20. This, unfortunately, is the beginning of the end.

And I'm sorry, if Gilles Muller can beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon by serving and volleying, the courts can't be that slow.

Perhaps Henman has to face the fact that he has slowed down.

THE BOOKIE

Warren Lush
Ladbrokes bookmakers

Henman's exit has saved the industry a 5m payout, it is champagne and strawberries all round.

Tim has threatened to take us to the cleaners so many times but all we do every year is count the money.

We've taken bets on Rosie Henman to win Wimbledon one day at 250/1 and are more concerned about paying out on these in the future than we are about any wagers on Tim to win the title.

The chances of a streaker on Centre Court for one of this year's finals is more likely than a British men's or ladies winner before 2010.


SEE ALSO
Tim Henman Wimbledon timeline
15 Jun 05 |  Tennis



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