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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
Henman will be back at Wimbledon
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Tim Henman
Henman lost in round two for the third year running
Tim Henman says he will definitely be back at Wimbledon next year, despite a heartbreaking five-set defeat by Feliciano Lopez on Thursday.

The 32-year-old lost 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 2-6 6-1 in the second round of his 14th Wimbledon campaign.

Asked whether he would return next year, Henman replied: "Absolutely."

He added: "The way I played is not too far away from breaking through and getting to the second week, and that was probably my objective."

Henman paid tribute to the support he receives every year and admitted it was a major motivation for him to return again in 2008.

"This is my home tournament and I'm very, very fortunate with that," said Henman.

"I've played the vast majority of my matches on the show courts and there's no doubt that plays a part in me wanting to be out there and cherish those moments. They're very, very special.

I think for years we've been far too accepting of mediocrity

Henman on British tennis

"Even today, I'm down two sets to love and there's still a fair amount of belief in the stadium and that helps to turn situations around."

Henman lost the first two sets against Lopez on tie-breaks before battling back to level, but Lopez broke at the start of the decider and again to wrap up the win.

"There were very few opportunities going around," said Henman.

"That's why even when you're down two sets to love I didn't really feel like I'd done too much wrong - I hadn't lost my serve.

"You have to stick in there with the belief that you can turn it around. For the next two sets I did that, but not the last one."

606: DEBATE
DG

Asked about how he felt to yet again be the last Briton to fall in the singles events, Henman described it as "depressing but it's reality, that's where we're at."

He added: "I think for years we've been far too accepting of mediocrity. You look at some of the players and I think they need a bit of a wake-up call to realise the level of play and competition worldwide is very, very high."

The British number two said that too many British players expected the LTA to pay for their coaches, players that "I don't think warrant that".

Henman and Lee Childs, through qualifying, were the only Britons not to require wildcards into the main draw.

"Wildcards are a fantastic opportunity but if you're any good, you don't need wildcards," said Henman.

"You can get one at 17, 18 and it's an opportunity for you to experience it but if you're any good, you get into these events on your ranking.

"The players get very short-sighted around March, April time, positioning themselves to get these opportunities. It's another example of what we've got to get away from."

SEE ALSO
Henman v Lopez as it happened
27 Jun 07 |  Tennis


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