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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 08:00 GMT 09:00 UK
Classic Matches: Henman v Haarhuis
1997 - Men's Singles Third Round
T Henman (GB) bt P Haarhuis (Ned) 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 14-12

Tim Henman

Six years on and British fans are used to having players in with a chance of becoming the first home-grown player to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

But back in 1997, it was a novelty. Henman had reached the quarter-finals the previous year and was on his way to a similar showing in 1997 but he has never had to dig deeper than he did against Paul Haarhuis.

If the match was not exciting enough in itself, it came on 'Super Sunday,' the extra day added to the tournament because of rain.

That meant many of the 14,000 fans had queued overnight to get in and they were going to enjoy themselves no matter what.

Henman said: "From the word go, it was something I'd never experienced before. The noise was at a different level. Every time I won a point it felt like the roof was going to come off."

Haarhuis had a match point at 5-4 in the fifth set but the Dutchman double-faulted twice, much to the delight of the crowd - and the frowns of those who insisted on etiquette.

The umpire went hoarse asking for quiet. Finally, at two minutes short of four hours, Henman served out for the victory.

"I've never played at Wembley. But I can say that's as good as good as it gets in tennis," said the Briton.





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