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Wimbledon first round latest:

C MOYA (Sp) 25 v T Henman (GB)

3-6 6-1 7-5 2-6 11-13

* denotes server


By Tom Fordyce


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Moya 11-13 Henman
He's done it! Henman gets to 15-40 with a lob so clever it should be made a member of Mensa. Moya misses his first serve, pats in a dolly of a second - and Henman clatters it miles out. Moya serves big to get back to deuce, but then cracks for the first time, going long with a forehand to give Henman his seventh match point. His first serve is wide by a fraction, his second long by a mile - and it's all over, after four hours 11 minutes. Sing hosannas!

Moya 11-12 Henman
Even by the standards of this match, this game is a stomach-churner of monstrous proportions. Henman puts two backhand volleys into the net to give Moya his first break point of the day, only for two thunderous aces to haul him back from the edge. It looks like a third ace has won the game - only for Moya to appeal to Hawk-Eye and win a reprieve. Moya responds with three fizzing backhands, two of which Henman somehow gets back - but the third volley finds the net again. Henman misses his first serve at break point, and with hands over eyes all round Centre, then produces a second-serve ace. Another brace of volleys at the net and he's back in front. Delirium ensues.

Moya 11-11 Henman
And so the epic goes on, now to Mahabharata lengths. This set alone has been going on for over an hour and a half. Moya holds to 15 with two sensational cross-court forehands.

Moya 10-11 Henman
Moya creams two dreamy passing shots past Tim's outstretched racquet, but the Brit stays strong to hang on as a Moya lob drifts out by a fraction. A nervous silence hangs around Centre Court. Henman Snr looks like the sort of chap whose definition of emotional contact with his son would be a handshake twice a year - once on his birthday, and once on Christmas Day.

Moya 10-10 Henman
For the third game on the bounce, Henman gets to 30-30 on the Moya serve. And once again Moya nervelessly saves the day, this time with a fearsome first serve. Who's going to blink first? Certainly not Mr Henman Snr, whose face hasn't twitched in 14 years.

Moya 9-10 Henman
Now it's Moya's turn to turn up the gas, capitalising on three Henman errors to drag himself to 30-30 and then deuce twice. On the second, Moya rockets his return into Henman's toes, only for Tim to produce a miracle of a volley. One back-foot forehand drive later and Henman nibbles in front once again. Mrs H licks her lips nervously. Three seats along, Mr Henman Snr is showing all the emotion of a marble bust.

Moya 9-9 Henman
He's getting chances, Henman, but he just can't convert them. A brilliant running forehand pass gets him to 30-30, Moya misses his first serve and the ball sits up on Henman's forehand on the second - only for him to nervously shank it long. Moya serves out, and on we go. Anxious shouts around the stands, and fingernails are being chomped in every corner.

Moya 8-9 Henman
The crowd are making zero concessions to politeness - every Moya error is greeted with unashamedly lusty bellows. The sleeveless Spainiard goes wide with a forehand and is then foxed completely by a sliced backhand which spins like a plate on a pole. Henman goes back to his chair, wipes the sweat from his brow and nods repeatedly.

Moya 8-8 Henman
It's on an absolute knife-edge - Henman rockets a backhand pass past Moya's shins to go to 30-30, only for Moya to volley straight into the net cord on the next point - and watch the ball drop gently into Henman territory. Henman goes long with a backhand, and Moya is level once again.

Moya 7-8 Henman
Whoosh - that was a nervy one... Moya whistles a delightful forehand cross-court to go to 30-30, and then passes Henman again to go to deuce. A drop-volley and big first serve save the day. Puffed-out cheeks and exclamations of relief all round the arena.

Moya 7-7 Henman
Easy for Moya - Henman bins three returns straight into the net, and a skimming serve wide to the forehand side ends proceedings. Lucy Henman is in the same seat as yesterday, wearring a beige cardigan with sand-coloured wool scarf. She's waving a large Union flag with the words "Go Tiger!" emblazoned on it. As if.

Moya 6-7 Henman
Gulps all round, and then Henman serves again, the sun now shining directly into his eyes. He's on the money from the off, volleying like a dream and coming to the net whenever he can. A crisp forehand at the net takes him to 40-15, and another deep volley/smash combo polishes it off. Red, white and blue jester's hat count so far: four.

Moya 6-6 Henman
To the merest smattering of token applause, Moya holds with poise. His first serve has clicked from the off, and we're level pegging once again. The sun has come out from behind the clouds to keep an eye on proceedings.

Moya 5-6 Henman
To deafening roars from the crowd, some of whom are foaming at the mouth, Henman gets his ageing nose in front. Two cracking serve-volley combos take him to 40-0, and after a fluffed half-volley he booms a big serve down the middle to leave Moya helpless. This being tennis, the players then go for a sit-down.

1423 BST: The pair are warming up ahead of this buttock-clenching shoot-out. Moya's gone for the same sleeveless top/white bandana combo as yesterday, while Tim is wearing a collarless white top and baggy shorts. Two men in the crowd are wearing Union flag shirts. They look like retired darts players. Henman to serve.

1422 BST: On Henman Hill, the BBC's Rishie Persad is asking some well-bred young ladies in matching red berets why they'll be supporting Tim. They look at him in puzzled fashion and drawl, "Because he's Briddish, yah?"

1420 BST: Afternoon - we're almost ready to go again here. Can Tim seal the deal after blowing those four match points in the Centre Court gloom last night?

Moya 5-5 Henman
I can't believe what I've just seen. Henman had four match points - four match points - and he didn't get a single one back into play. Moya hangs on - somehow - and as the crowd stand there aghast, the umpire calls a halt. At 21.19 BST, it's too dark to carry on. We'll be back again on Tuesday. Time for deep breaths and desperately-needed toilet breaks all round...

Moya 5-5 Henman
Every point is now capable of giving a meditating monk a heart attack. Henman rattles to 30-15 and then freezes, giving Moya a break point. Somehow he saves it, the tension crackling round the roofless arena, and then comes up with a brilliant kicking second serve to seal the game. People are praying in the crowd. Honestly.

Moya 4-4 Henman
Would you believe it? Henman, seemingly halfway down the slippery tube, fights like a cornered polecat and, at 15-30, puts away a volley to set up two precious breaks. Moya smashes in a monster of a first serve to save one, but he then somehow double-faults at 30-40 to send this titanic struggle level. The crowd are on the brink of a massed court invasion.

Moya 4-3 Henman
Silence descends as Henman slips to 15-40, with Moya prowling the court like a lion. Could this be the end? Not yet, my friends, not yet - two great volleys and a rasping forehand drive haul him back from the edge of the abyss. Mrs Henman allows herself a gentle dab of the forehead with the back of her hand.

Moya 4-2 Henman
This is looking ominous now - Moya has found his form again, and he's serve-volleying like Sampras at his peak. He forces Henman deep with two fierce forehands and then dinks in a drop-shot which dies on the turf like a autumn leaf.

"Henman the one who blinked there..." BBC TV's John McEnroe

Moya 3-2 Henman
Henman comes up with the goods under extreme pressure to stay just one break down. How many times has he done this to his fans? This is his 14th successive Wimbledon, but it feels like he's left us scrabbling on a cliffhanger in every single summer I've been alive.

Moya 3-1 Henman
Henman attacks Moya's serve at 30-15 and comes up with two wonderful passing shots, one on the forehand from the baseline and the other a runner on the backhand that glides over the net like a swooping swift. He has break point - but Moya, as so often in this match, hammers in a howitzer of a serve to see off the danger. It's now 20.45 BST, but there's no stopping these two.

Moya 2-1 Henman
Calamity for Henman and the cheering masses - he goes wide at 30-30 and then leans back and clouts his forehand long at break point. Moya allows himself the tiniest show of emotion, and the balance of power swings once again.

"We all thought these days had gone - Tim Henman, deciding set at Wimbledon, late into the evening." BBC Five Live's Jonathan Overend

Moya 1-1 Henman
Lordy - at 15-30, Henman has a great chance to flick a little forehand past a flat-footed Moya - but he pushes it wide, and the glimmer slips away. The court is getting slippery, the light is fading fast - but both players are absolutely locked on the game.

"Conditions not often like this is Mallorca, you know." John McEnroe, BBC TV

Moya 0-1 Henman
The nose is officially in front as Henman holds with gritty determination smeared all over his face. In the Royal Box, the dignitaries are wrapped in checked blankets, for all the world like pensioners on a day out on Folkestone's sea-front.


Moya 2-6 Henman
Cue delirium - Moya double-faults at 30-30, misses his first serve and can then only watch helplessly from mid-court as Henman produces a miracle of a drop-shot to grab the set. Two women in Union Jack jester's hats leap to their feet and scream with joy. Fifth set nail-shredder it is...

Moya 2-5 Henman
He never makes it easy, does he? Henman cruises to 40-0, and then threatens to blow it completely with a limp forehand and a woeful double-fault. At 40-30 there's a rally during which not a single breath is taken in the crowd - until the point where Moya dinks his forehand volley into the net, when an explosion of noise almost lifts the umpire off his lofty perch.

Moya 2-4 Henman
Moya keeps his set alive with a rock-solid series of first serves. Henman could do with a second break as insurance here - for those watching as much as himself.

"I'm impressed with the way Henman is taking charge of this set - I thought he was done and dusted after the third set." Annabel Croft, BBC Radio Five Live.

Moya 1-4 Henman
Surfing a tidal wave of eardrum-bursting support, Henman holds to give himself clear daylight. Out comes the quintessential Henman fist-pump, and he's right back in this. People are hugging each other, half in happiness, half through eyeball-shaking nerves.

"Henman has pushed himself back into this match by sheer force of will." John Lloyd, BBC TV

Moya 1-3 Henman
Ecstacy around the stands as Henman orchestrates a break point with a sublime backhand - only for Moya to produce his fastest serve of the match to see it off. Moya goes wide with a backhand to gift him another, only for the same to happen again on the break point. Henman takes a deep breath and comes up with his best service return of the day, raking a crosscourt forehand past the startled Moya's toes - and when he slices the next return to Moya's feet, the Spaniard sends his backhand wide. Henman has the break, and the roar from the crowd lifts the roof off houses half a mile away.

Moya 1-2 Henman
"Hen-man, clap-clap-clap! Hen-man, clap-clap-clap!" go the frenzied crowd. Their man responds with his best service game of the match, rattling through the points in the time it takes to blink nervously.

Moya 1-1 Henman
Moya rattles through his service game with a relaxed dominance. He still looks as bothered by this atmosphere and drama as an embalmed corpse.

"It wouldn't be a Henman match if we didn't have this sort of drama, would it?" BBC TV's John Lloyd

Moya 0-1 Henman
Relief all round as Henman begins as he must go on, going on the attack and finding his range once again. It's getting mighty dark out there, but not so dark that you can't see the streaks of grey in Mrs Henman's hair. She was a 100% blonde when this match started.


Moya 7-5 Henman
The hordes scream their support, but it's all in vain - Moya is like a runaway train, and Henman can do nothing to haul on the brakes. Moya's weapon, believe it or not, has been his serve-and-volleying - he's come in on nearly half his first serves, and another ace seals the set. Only a five-set epic can keep HMS Henman afloat now.

Moya 6-5 Henman
Brilliant from Moya - he tears into Henman like a hungry hyena, sizzling back his returns and going for his winners with zero fear. Henman goes to 0-40 with a desperate double fault, and then puts his forehand wide to gift Moya the vital break at just the wrong time.

"The way he's been returning, there is a good chance that Henman can break back here." BBC TV's Pat Cash

Moya 5-5 Henman
The zippiness on those new balls come just at the right time for Moya, and he holds comfortably after Henman blows an opening on the first point. Thousands of rears shift a fraction closer to the edges of seats.

Moya 4-5 Henman
Henman holds on - just - as Moya tries desperately to attack his serve. Mrs Henman chews her lip and applauds languidly in front of her face. The umpire signals for new balls as Moya prepares to serve to stay in the set.

Moya 4-4 Henman
Who's going to crack first? Both men know this is the key stage of the match, and the standard has just jumped several notches. No-one's leaving Centre Court, despite the encroaching evening chill.

Moya 3-4 Henman
Better from Henman - suddenly he's volleying well again, and he forces Moya wide before popping an easy drop-shot into the empty court. There's barely a cloud in the sky now, which means we could potentially be going here for at least another 45 minutes. If you haven't had your tea yet, grab a stick of celery to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

Moya 3-3 Henman
Now we're cooking with a higher grade of gas - Moya not only raises his game but changes it too, going serve-and-volley to draw the set level.

"The guy's turning into Stefan Edberg!" BBC TV's John McEnroe

Moya 2-3 Henman
Even the inanimate objects on Centre Court are now working in Henman's favour - a forehand that seems destined for the net instead thumps the cord, sails straight up in the air and drops in an unplayable position on Moya's side of the divide. Henman gives a toothy grin.

Moya 2-2 Henman
A delightful lob from Henman gets him to 30-30, and another Hawk-Eye nudge gives him a nibble at deuce. But Moya, as outwardly emotional as a frozen haddock, goes big with a second serve to draw level.

Moya 1-2 Henman
It's a see-saw ride, the Henmanocoaster. One moment you're down, the next you're up - but it's never a smooth ride. And most of the time you feel sick with worry. This time a Hawk-Eye appeal saves Henman's under-threat derriere, ruling a forehand in when line-judge and umpire thought otherwise. Having said that, Hawk-Eye also seems to think that there's still a roof on Centre Court - and if it can't get that right...

Moya 1-1 Henman
Anguish again for the legions of Henman supporters - their man sets up two break points but blows them both with feeble backhand slices into the net. He's taken just one of the seven break points on offer today. When he goes long to lose the game, two middle-aged man in the crowd clutch their heads in their hands.

Moya 0-1 Henman
A teaspoon of relief at last for the home fans as Henman finally gets back on the board. Moya had a chance at deuce, but pushed his forehand pass into the net.

"When coming back from lack of match practice you tend to lose concentration for a few minutes, and in that time the momentum changes." BBC Five Live's Pat Cash


Moya 6-1 Henman
Moya strolls it. Henman can summon up only the most token resistance, and we're level pegging.

Moya 5-1 Henman
An almost embarassed silence hangs over Centre Court as Henman collapses to 0-40, Moya beating him at will on either wing. The wheels are falling off the Briton's serve too, and Moya is within one game of levelling the match.

Moya 4-1 Henman
A wonderful diving volley at the net extends Moya's lead to three games once again. Moya is now playing like the natural grass court player, while Henman is scampering desperately like a clay court retriever. Henman goes back to his chair and examines his racquet, which has the names of his two daughters - Rosie and Olivia - stencilled on either side.

Moya 3-1 Henman
Nervous times here on Centre as Henman hangs on from 30-30 when Moya leaves a lob short and allows him an easy backhand smash. Moya, if you weren't aware, launched his own brand of aftershave a few years ago. Not sure if it's available in the official Wimbledon shop, but it deserves to be for its slogan alone - "Life: the most exciting game".

Moya 3-0 Henman
Moya's rainbreak siesta has transformed him, and he's turned this match on its head. His groundstrokes are purring like a contented puss, and Henman looks lost.

Moya 2-0 Henman
Gasps of anguish from the stands as Moya goes on the attack and sets up two break points with a drop-shot that Henman puts into the tramlines. Henman saves the first with a big serve but capitulates feebly on the second, mis-hitting an attempted volley into the turf. A man in the crowd with a McEnroesque curly black thatch and accompanying toweling headband grimaces with disappointment.

Moya 1-0 Henman
Easy hold for Moya as the adrenaline causes Henman to overhit two forehands. Mrs Henman has now donned a pair of large dark glasses to ward off the late evening glare, and long shadows stretch across Centre Court.


Moya 3-6 Henman
Resuming 30-15 up, Henman goes for a big first serve but nets his follow-up backhand. Moya works a break point with a deft backhand cross-court pass, but Henman produces another thumper of a first serve to go to deuce - and seals the set with an old-school serve volley. The first set is his - and the crowd, pent up after almost two hours without a shot, responds with a roar of relief.

1843 BST: I tell you what - the sun is beaming down, the net is up and Henman and Moya are out warming up. Happy days. Henman to serve for the set.

1830 BST: Breaking news from the tournament referee's bolt-hole - play will resume at 1845 BST. It's stopped raining, but apparently the courts are a little slippy.

1759 BST: Heavier sighs, heavier splots - it's now raining properly again. You've got to love the English summer - as reliable as a 1973 Skoda.

1745 BST: They should be - but they're not. They got as far as the entrance to the court, felt a few splots of rain on their upturned faces and turned on their heels. The covers are whistled back on. Sigh.

1734 BST: It's good news - the covers are off and the net is up, so play seems set to resume shortly. Grab yourself a quick beverage and the chaps should be warming up by the time you're back.

Alas - the umbrellas sprout in the unprotected seats, and the umpire calls a husky halt. The players dash for the locker-room and the covers are pulled on by the scampering ball-boys. Doesn't look like a major delay, but I'd give it at least 10 minutes. I'll have a word with the BBC meterologist crew and keep you posted.

Moya 3-5 Henman
Moya hangs on as Henman puts an attempted pass into the net. Squeaky cheek time now, and Mrs H toys nervously with her laminated VIP pass.

Moya 2-5 Henman
Moya's gone as appeal-crazy as Shane Warne at the MCG - he asks Hawk-Eye to dig him out of another hole, only to be rebuffed once again to raucous cheers from the patriots in the crowd. Henman moves to within one game of the set.

Moya 2-4 Henman
Relief for Moya as Henman's groundstrokes are drawn to the net like papparazi to an intoxicated Jade Goody.

"Hard to remember when Henman last looked so comfortable in his first match at Wimbledon." BBC TV's Andrew Castle

Moya 1-4 Henman
Confident applause ringing out now as the Henman serve fires to allow him to hold to love. Still feels strange to look up and see Centre Court without a roof - it's like meeting an old pal for a drink, only to find he's gone completely bald since you last saw him.

Moya 1-3 Henman
A dream of a drop volley from Henman sets up two break points, only for Moya to produce a mirror-image himself to save the first and a crisp forehand deep into the backhand corner to save the second. The first chorus of "Go on Tim!"s rings out as Moya is rebuffed by Hawk-Eye after asking for a first serve saver, and Henman then clips a backhand down the line to keep the pressure on. Moya gulps nervously and then dumps two forehands into the net - and Henman has his break.

Moya 1-2 Henman
Nice from Timbo, showing some feisty aggression and coming to the net to pop away a tasty volley. He jogs back to his chair, ruffles his brush-like hair with a Wimbledon towel and sips reflectively from an old squash bottle filled with water.

Moya 1-1 Henman
The home-town favourite has a glimmer at 15-30, only for the headband-wearing Moya to turn up the gas and sizzle in two spicy first serves to level things up. Moya has a Celtic band-style tattoo around his right bicep, which probably looked great for about three months back in 1997 until every Tom, Dick and Sporty Spice got one too.

Moya 0-1 Henman
Roars from the anorak-clad crowd as Henman takes his first service game with encouraging ease. Mrs Henman watches on as ever, twirling a tendril of hair around her index finger as she squints down at the action.

1628 BST:
Here comes the old stager, and there's a standing ovation to greet him. Can Tim turn back the clock and see off the threat of the sleeveless shirt-wearing Spaniard?

Henman hangs on
22 Jun 07 |  Tennis


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