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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 January, 2004, 11:46 GMT
Stunned Henman laments loss
Tim Henman has called his five-set loss to Guillermo Canas a "bitter pill to swallow" after surrendering a big lead in the third-round Australian Open tie.

The British number one blew a two-set advantage and was 4-1 up in the final set, before going out 6-7 5-7 7-6 7-5 9-7 in an epic five-hour match.

"It was probably a good match to watch but it is about winning and losing and I came up just short," said Henman.

"There are probably not a whole load of constructive things I've got to say."

Despite the manner of the defeat, Henman did produce some excellent tennis at times.

"It will be interesting to look at some of the stats," he said.

"They were coming up on the scoreboard from time to time and at one stage I saw I hit 96 winners. That is a lot of winners to hit to lose."

Henman has a bad record against Canas, having lost another epic match to the Argentine at the French Open in 2001.

It is very easy to over analyse something like this - unfortunately he was the winner
Tim Henman

"It's a bitter pill to swallow. Having lost a tight one to him in Paris, these are the types of matches you have to find a way to get through.

"In the first couple of sets I was able to win a couple of important points and that was the difference," Henman said.

"In the next two he won a couple of critical points.

"It is very easy to over analyse something like this. Unfortunately he was the winner.

"If you are 4-1 up in the fifth you are obviously in the ascendancy.

"All credit to him though. He hit some great running passing shots to break back at 4-2."

Failure to progress at a Grand Slam away from home once more will be a huge disappointment for Henman, and once again his season will be judged by his performance at Wimbledon.

Henman at least has the opportunity to boost his chances by moving up the world rankings in the coming months, having missed the start of last year through injury.





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Tim Henman
"He came up with some great shots at the right times"



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