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August 3, 2004

Tim Henman


THE MODERATOR: Tim advances to the second round. He'll play Arazi or Spadea. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TIM HENMAN: I think so. Obviously, he's had some more trouble with his shoulder. And, you know, I think that's the way to do it. You would like to, you know -- for his sake, I think he's a guy, he's a good character, he's a really good player. You know, you hope that he can get back 100 percent healthy. But you do, you just try and take advantage of that, as you say. It is hot, and I sort of just afterwards said to Paul, "Should we go out and hit some more balls?" And, you know, we both decided that, you know, I've practiced enough and I've been hitting the ball well. I think you want to just, you know, conserve your energy when it's hot like this.

Q. So what will you do instead, round of golf?

TIM HENMAN: No. I'll probably go and do a little bit of training, but not outside. I think it will be inside. As you say, you know, if you're going to progress in a tournament and obviously win more and more matches, you want to conserve as much energy as possible because it is going to get tougher, and there is every chance it's going to be hot.

Q. It is tough, presumably, to assess where your game is at after a match like that?

TIM HENMAN: Yes. Again, I think I'm, you know, pretty aware of the way that I've been playing. As you say, it's not always easy when you're playing a match like that and suddenly he's just rolling the serve in. And it almost makes you play a little bit more cautiously instead of being aggressive. But I feel happy with the way I've been, you know, hitting the ball. It's now about trying to make that transition from the practice court to the match court. And, you know, it's a start and, you know, I look forward to tomorrow.

Q. You say "making the transition." Has there been a gap there?

TIM HENMAN: Just purely in the amount of matches that I've played, obviously. Obviously, I played plenty of matches up until Wimbledon, but then there's an obvious break. To my advantage, I needed to rest and recharge my batteries. And then, you know, the nature of these types of events, when you're coming in, you know it's going to be difficult from the word "go." And last week I played okay; I didn't play my best. But when you play someone like Guga in the second round, you know it's going to be difficult. You know, that match didn't, you know, didn't go my way, and now it's about just trying to, you know, keep my game moving along and keep working on the aspects that have obviously been very successful in the first part of the year and trying to do that this week.

Q. Obviously, it's a big summer for everybody who's involved in the Olympics.


Q. How do you kind of keep yourself up emotionally and make sure you don't get too carried away with all the pressure that goes along with the big events?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I don't think there's sort of any added pressure. I wouldn't say it like that. On the one hand, it is a busy schedule. We've got these two Masters Series, then we're back in Europe obviously for the Olympics, then back to the US Open. It's a lot of traveling. And if you're going to be winning matches, it's going to be demanding. But I think just the nature of the events, they're so sort of exciting. That's what you want to be playing in. And, you know, when I made the decision that that was my schedule, I think I kind of was of the understanding that it was going to be, you know, great to be participating, you know, in the Olympics and, you know, I couldn't be more excited about it. I think I've learned a little bit from what happened in Sydney where I felt that I probably was a little bit too distracted in watching all the other events than worrying too much about my own, because I want to play well. But it is, it's an amazing thing to be a part of, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Is the fact that it's possibly going to be your last Olympics kind of...?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I'm pretty sure it will be. I hadn't thought about it like that. I'm pretty sure it will be my last one. I don't think it adds any extra significance because the Olympics speaks for itself. I've been fortunate enough, this will be my third. I'm just excited about all aspects and looking forward to trying to play well there.

Q. What were the sports that you favored, the other sports that you watched?

TIM HENMAN: I, you know, did a bit of everything. You know, I went to the swimming a few times, I went to the athletics, I watched quite a lot of hockey. We went to, I think, the gymnastics just briefly. You know, it's not always -- sometimes it's not always easy just to get there, the tickets to watch the events that you do. But, you know, I think any event where there's, you know, the best in the world are competing, it's -- you know, the gold medal is at stake, it's pretty exciting to go and watch. I'll make sure I take advantage again.

Q. Do you have a particular Olympic memory - not involving you, but perhaps you watched as a kid?

TIM HENMAN: I think probably, yeah, I think growing up probably Daley Thompson, who's a guy that I trained quite a lot with and know pretty well. I think when he was winning Gold in...

Q. '80?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, he won in '80 and '84 - I probably remember it a bit better than '80. Yeah, I think that was one that sticks with me.

Q. Can I take you back to after Wimbledon. How long did it take you to get over losing that, and also just to put everything into perspective with what had happened at the French and going into Wimbledon? You didn't have time to think about it presumably at the time.

TIM HENMAN: I think there's definitely a period of time when you need to, you know, to switch off and certainly, you know, just relax and forget about tennis. And I think it does, it depends a little bit on obviously my performance and the way that I feel I've played and performed. I think with regard to Wimbledon, it was disappointing. I wasn't particularly pleased with the way I played in that match. But as you say, you know, upon reflection of those two Slams, you know, there's still, I feel, a lot of positives to take out of that. And, you know, you just have to move on from it, I think. I think probably a lot of other people probably get, you know, drawn into the negative aspects a little bit more than I do. But, you know, that's something that's always been there and I've always, you know, wanted to keep improving and, you know, keep being positive with regard to my career. And, you know, that hasn't really changed.

Q. That quarterfinal match, was it a case of -- was there an element of tiredness, maybe mental tiredness?

TIM HENMAN: I didn't think so at the time, but I think upon reflection it was, you know. The first set was very, you know, was really, really good quality. There were so few chances. We were both serving very, very well. And he won that set. That's, you know, that's fine. That's kind of sport. That's the way it goes. Sometimes you win a set; sometimes you lose it. Yeah, upon reflection, second and third sets, I felt like I lacked a little bit of spark to try and, you know, switch the momentum and turn things around. I think, therefore, I didn't -- wasn't able to then put him under a little bit more pressure. You know, his confidence increased, and, you know, my level of performance decreased, and that was probably, you know, the critical factor of the match.

Q. Everyone in Wimbledon seemed to have a cold that second week. Were you okay?

TIM HENMAN: I mean, did it have any bearing on performance? No, not at all. Yeah, I probably had a bit of a cold myself, but I think I played in far worse situations than that.

Q. Did you really want to kind of come out early and break him a couple times and put pressure on him early just because of the rust?

TIM HENMAN: Whose rust, my rust or his rust?

Q. No, his.

TIM HENMAN: Again, it's a little bit difficult to know what to expect. He hasn't really played because of a foot problem for a long, long time. And he's had some problems with his shoulder. But I still, you know, wasn't really sure what to expect. And then just talking to him afterwards, you know, he said that everything had been fine. Actually, he aggravated his shoulder again in the warm-up. And it's funny. In terms of trying to win or lose a match, it's obviously advantageous if he's not serving big because he's got a great serve. But it's funny how it then -- it can almost dictate the way you play. Suddenly you play a little bit cautiously and your footwork gets a bit static. But, you know, once I, you know, got it clear in my mind the way I wanted to play and the way I was going to sort of counteract what he was up to, then, you know, I felt pretty comfortable. And, you know, from my point of view I was serving well, and that was an aspect that wasn't so satisfactory last week. So, you know, in these conditions, that's important.

Q. You appeared to have quite a few words with him at the net.


Q. Was there anything interesting passed between you?

TIM HENMAN: No, it was fairly -- I'm a bit of a shoulder anorak these days for obvious reasons. I was asking where he was feeling the problems. And, yeah, hopefully, you know, he won't do what I tried to do, which is play with it for too long. I don't think it will do him any good.

Q. Offer him any advice, doctors' numbers?

TIM HENMAN: No, no. There's plenty of good doctors around here. I'm sure he'll hopefully get it taken care of.

Q. Do you think all the focus on how well Roddick and Federer are playing is kind of advantageous for you to maybe sneak in there and get some good results this summer?

TIM HENMAN: Perhaps, yeah. I think the attention that they're getting is absolutely warranted. I mean, they're both playing to, you know, a very, very high level. There's plenty of players that can play to a high level. I think to be doing it as consistently as they are is why they're, you know, head and shoulders above the rest at the moment. And I think, you know, the second point of your question, to be able to just, you know, work on things and play my matches under a little less intensity of spotlight is definitely something that I enjoy post-Wimbledon.

Q. Any thoughts about Arvind and what happened to him yesterday?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I didn't see any of the match but I saw some of -- both his qualifying matches. You know, he's definitely playing some really good tennis, and it's important that he takes a lot of confidence away from playing at this level, which I don't think he's really done before. And playing someone the caliber of Moya and pushing him so close, you know, he can build on that. Two really good quality wins in quallies as well and, you know, you learn a lot from that. I'm sure he's really disappointed with not being able to capitalize on his opportunity, but hopefully he can build from it.

Q. Have you spoken to him much since that Davis Cup at Wimbledon four years ago?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I practice with him all the time.

Q. Have you spoken to him about...

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, yeah. But, I mean, that's -- I just think that's a long time ago.

Q. In the past?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah. I think he is a far better player, far more experienced, and, you know, has learnt a lesson from that.

End of FastScripts….

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