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Gamewatch: Federer v Henman
Wimbledon first-round result:

R FEDERER Swi 1 v T Henman GB

6-4 6-0 6-2

* denotes server

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES

By Tom Fordyce

Third set:

Federer 6-2 Henman
Federer seals the match in fitting fashion, barrelling an ace straight down the middle. Henman is out. He waves almost apologetically at the crowd as he walks off court. A thousand Union flags are discreetly left on seats as the hordes file out quietly. It wasn't the result they wanted - but the chances of anyone stopping Federer in that sort of mood are on par with those of someone attempting to swim the English Channel in lead trunks.

Federer 5-2 Henman
A brief postponement of the inevitable - Henman holds serve. On a day like today, that's a small triumph.

Federer 5-1 Henman
The final point of that game sums up Henman's day - he thumps a regulation backhand two feet out when for once Federer was out of position. It seems so long ago that he was actually in with a shout in this match - it's been a procession for Federer. So Henman is going out of Wimbledon, the England cricket team is being thrashed by Sri Lanka and the rugby team has just come back from Australia with its tail between its legs. It's up to you to save the nation's sporting summer, Wayne...

Federer 4-1 Henman
Ecstasy on Centre Court as Henman finally wins a game at the 14th attempt. Could we be about to witness the greatest comeback in tennis history? Absolutely not, but it does at least trigger the first massed chants of "Henman! Henman!" in over an hour.

Federer 4-0 Henman
It doesn't quite qualify as a silver lining, but in terms of the last 12 games, it's a breakthrough on par with the invention of the shoe - Henman takes Federer to deuce. Roger, clearly affronted, polishes him off in seconds.

"What does Federer's coach actually have to do, apart from choose which champagne to drink after the next championship victory?"
BBC Sport commentator Andrew Castle.

Federer 3-0 Henman
Another game, another break. It's now a question of whether Henman can even win another game. After two abject forehands fly wide, he trudges to his chair, plops himself down and stares morosely at the logo on his towel. There's no answers there, Tim.

Federer 2-0 Henman
Make that nine games on the bounce. Federer is dominant. Tony Henman's squint, meanwhile, is making him look uncannily like George Bush Jnr. Even his wife looks a touch unsettled.

Federer 1-0 Henman
Federer takes his eighth game on the bounce with a succession of brilliant shots. No player on earth could handle this. In the stands, Tony Henman is squinting into the evening sun - which proves that, contrary to popular belief, his face is capable of movement.

"They should release a DVD of this match and call it, 'Perfect Tennis, with Roger Federer'."
BBC Sport commentator Andrew Castle.

Second set:

Federer 6-0 Henman
With remorseless inevitability, Federer seals the set with the loss of just one more point. The way this is going, he'll be easing back into his Gatsby jacket before the Centre Court clock strikes six. A Mexican wave breaks out - but no-one's heart is really in it.

"That was so good it was almost dull."
BBC Sport summariser John McEnroe.

Federer 5-0 Henman
It's getting worse. Henman loses his service game to love. There's a genuine chance he won't win a single game in this set. His self-belief has gone. He looks tired after Tuesday's five-set epic. The crowd doesn't know where to look.

Federer 4-0 Henman
Cold, hard-hearted reality has replaced the goggle-eyed optimism of earlier on Centre Court. At this point, Henman's Wimbledon dream looks over - perhaps for good. Federer is taking him apart. Henman hasn't smiled all day - the only time we've seen those Austin Powers teeth is when he's been grimacing.

Federer 3-0 Henman
The crowd has been stunned into silence. They watch aghast as Federer takes another break, hitting an incredible angled pass from the back of the court which leaves Henman shaking his head in powerless disbelief.

"That's when you look at Federer and think he has a magic wand in his hand, rather than a racquet."
BBC Sport summariser John McEnroe.

Federer 2-0 Henman
Federer has been world number one for 125 weeks now, and you can see why. Henman's not helping his own cause by making too many unforced errors, but the Swiss is strolling through his service games.

"It feels like it's late in this match already - a set and a break up, all the momentum is with Federer."
BBC Sport summariser John McEnroe.

Federer 1-0 Henman
Disastrous start for Henman. Federer has stepped up a gear, and engineers three break points before Henman realises what's happening. He takes the second to establish a firm grip on the match.

First set:

Federer 6-4 Henman
There it is - Federer takes the first set in just 35 minutes. Henman goes 40-0 down in the blink of an eye, steals back one point and then puts a backhand out. On Henman Hill, excited teenagers gather round the BBC's Rishi Persaud to tell him how Federer can still be beaten. Few pearls of wisdom are given - the hot sun and underage drinking have combined to leave them a touch short of genuine insight.

"That was not the game Tim was envisioning when he stepped back on court."
BBC Sport summariser John McEnroe.

Federer 5-4 Henman
A confident running volley from Henman keeps him in the set when Federer seemed set to pounce at 30-30. He goes back to his seat, takes on board a mouthful of banana and prepares for the key game of the first set.

"Federer is seeing the ball like a basketball."
BBC Sport commentator Andrew Castle.

Federer 5-3 Henman
A slight smile plays across Lucy Henman's face as her husband's rock-solid volley takes him to 30-30. When Federer nets a backhand, the break chance is there - only for the Swiss to pass Henman with a whipped forehand. Another break point slips by when Henman buries a backhand into the net, and he then goes long with a risky forehand. Federer holds - not without trouble - and Tim must now hold serve to stay in the set.

Federer 4-3 Henman
A huge kicker of a second serve at 40-15 is too much for Federer, and Tim hangs in there. He now has two bites at the Federer serve to save the set - so far, he hasn't got close to a break. Sitting in his chair at the end of the game, he swigs water from an old orange squash bottle and squints at the sky.

Federer 4-2 Henman
Supreme control from Federer as he takes control of the game. Tim puts away a great volley to edge back to 40-15 but Federer's dipping forehand is too good for him and he closes out the game with ease.

Federer 3-2 Henman
That's more like it - Henman holds serve with two confident serve/volleys. High in the stands, a pair of thrilled ladies in Union Jack plastic bowler hats celebrate the moment by taking long-distance photos of Tim with small pocket cameras.

Federer 3-1 Henman
Easy for the Swiss champ as he holds serve to 15. The crowd are suddenly hushed.

"Andy Roddick says the only way to beat Federer on a grass court is to punch him."
BBC Sport summariser John McEnroe.

Federer 2-1 Henman
Disaster for Henman as he slips at break point and puts his volley wide. Federer has the first break, and he's barely roused himself. The full Henman posse is in the VIP box - although, to be fair, never has the word "posse" been less appropriate - and Tim's going to need every second of their support.

"I'd like to see Henman attack more, because Federer is happy just keeping the ball in play."
BBC Sport summariser John McEnroe.

Federer 1-1 Henman
A Federer ace brings the set level. The crowd is giddy with excitement. Even something as mundane as a man with a deep voice shouting, "Come on Tim" is enough to trigger a cascade of giggles.

Federer 0-1 Henman
A huge roar from the crowd as Henman puts away a volley to win the first point - you'd think he'd just scored in the World Cup final. He is briefly held up when a red-cheeked ballgirl is forced to admit that she is out of ammunition, but when Federer puts a forehand into the tramlines, the opening game is his.


1630 BST: Federer strolls onto court in his new white blazer, looking for all the world like a young buck off to an afternoon's cocktail party at Gatsby's mansion.

1615 BST: There's a massive roar from the Centre Court crowd as the stadium announcer reveals that the Henman-Federer clash has been brought forward.

Can Henman pull off a miracle?

On the positive side, he has a 6-4 career record against Federer, and won their only previous meeting at Wimbledon.

On the downside, that win was five years ago. Federer hasn't lost on grass since 2002. And he's won his last 42 matches on the surface.

Uh-oh...



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