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Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 23:10 UK

Henman on Murray

By Tim Henman
Former British number one

Tim Henman
Henman made his final appearance at in the Davis Cup last September

One thing I've learned from Monday night is that it's a hell of a lot easier playing than it is watching.

The whole atmosphere during Andy Murray's epic five-set win over Richard Gasquet was incredible.

In the context of the match, Gasquet, for two-and-three-quarter sets, was absolutely fantastic but when he came to serve for the match he just blinked a bit.

That game went very quickly. Gasquet made an unforced error on the first point then suddenly, instead of being 15-0, it was 0-15 and Andy got to 0-40 very quickly.

That was when the tide started to turn. All credit to Murray - he'd been outplayed till that stage but I think the biggest thing was that he had the belief to hang in there.

That's what tennis is all about. Murray wasn't playing his best tennis because he wasn't being allowed to, but he really hung in there and showed so much heart and guts to start turning it around.

It's hard to pinpoint one shot that helped him through - I think desire was his greatest weapon by the end.

Of course it wasn't a faultless performance and his service percentages were a lot lower than they have been throughout the tournament and that will obviously be a dictating factor in his quarter-final with Rafael Nadal.

It will be crucial as the Spaniard is so strong from the baseline and he will be looking to pick up as many cheap points as he can get from Murray's serve.

Also, his drop shots are certainly a mixed bag.

There are some good ones and bad ones in there, but it's part of his game whether we like it or not, or whether he likes it or not - he is going to play them.

It's going to be tight, but I'm going for a five-set win for Murray in the quarter-final

He has to approach the Nadal game with the freedom to really go for his shots.

It's his first Grand Slam quarter-final and there's no doubt that Nadal is the favourite, but hopefully Murray can really go out there and be aggressive from the first ball to the last and let's see what he can do.

The atmosphere was so fantastic, and as a player that has appreciated it on many occasions, Murray will be looking for the same kind of support on Wednesday.

I played in my fair share of those type of matches that go late on into the evening and hopefully for all of us it's going to be the first of many for Andy.

Much has been made of the support he gets, yet I don't think there's ever been an issue with the Centre Court crowd getting behind Andy.

The press sometimes like to make an issue of it, but I think he's got great support.

And on the back of that match I can't not back Murray to make the semis! It's going to be tight, but I'm going for a five-set win for Murray.

Tim Henman was talking to Paul Birch


see also
BBC pundits on Andy Murray
30 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Tim Henman column
25 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Cool on Britannia
24 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Henman ready for new chapter
18 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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