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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK
Henman rues missed chance
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Tim Henman waves goodbye as he leaves the All England Club
Henman says goodbye to a Wimbledon title for another year

Tim Henman faced up to the possibility that he will never win Wimbledon after defeat to Sebastien Grosjean in the quarter-finals.

It took just 32 minutes for Grosjean to complete a four-set win over the British number one following an overnight rain delay.

And although Henman vowed to be back, he acknowledged the threat to his future chances of winning Wimbledon posed by the new generation of players.

"I think maybe my chances are getting less," he said afterwards. "But it still won't stop me coming back and trying.

"I wouldn't say they are diminishing greatly. It's inevitable as the standards are getting better, I have to find ways to keep improving.

"That's certainly not going to deter me from coming back as this is the one tournament that I desperately want to win.

"With my own expectations and the way the fortnight has unfolded it's always disappointing to lose.

"But in the bigger picture in terms of my career I've still got another four or five years."

In most aspects I didn't match up well and that's pretty disappointing
Tim Henman
All four remaining players - Grosjean, Mark Philippoussis, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick - will be playing in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time.

But Henman refuted the suggestion that this year presented a greater opportunity to win the title than previous years.

"If I was in the semis it's tough to make me a favourite ahead of any or them," he said.

Henman refused to blame his injury problems for the defeat and admitted he had not deserved to win.

"I give Seb a lot of credit because he played better than me," he said.

"He served better than me and his return is pretty solid but in most aspects I didn't match up well, and that's pretty disappointing."

And the Briton insisted he could still win Wimbledon one day, despite the inevitable cynicism that will follow another failed attempt.

"You've got to have belief," said Henman.

"There's plenty of criticsm that goes with being in the firing line but the positive is that I care very little about the opinions.

"If people don't think I'm good enough, that's fine."

Grosjean admitted he was surprised to wrap up the match so quickly.

"I expected a little bit more of a fight but I played pretty good today and Tim missed one or two shots and that helped me to stay in the match," said the Frenchman.

"I knew before the match it was going to be difficult with the quality of Tim's game and the people here, but I tried to enjoy it."



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Hope for Henman amid gloom
03 Jul 03  |  Wimbledon 2003

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