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August 5, 2004

Tim Henman


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tim.

Q. How did you feel today on court tennis-wise?

TIM HENMAN: I struggled a bit, yeah. I think last night was, you know, it was good to come through and to give myself the opportunity. And I thought I'd feel a little bit better than I did, actually. And I don't know, since I made the transition from the grass on to the hard, I've sort of, the last couple of weeks, just been very stiff in my lower back. You know, last night once I was in the match I, you know, I felt really good. But, yeah, I have to be honest. I was pretty stiff today.

Q. Have you had a problem like that before?

TIM HENMAN: No, not really. No. Had a few other problems, but (smiling)... No, I think it's just, you know -- I think coming on to the hard, it's, you know, a lot more jarring. And I think having practiced, you know, a lot in London and then coming out to Toronto last week, it's just, yeah, it's been aggravating me a little bit. You know, I struggled at the best of times against Hewitt. And if I'm not quite feeling 100 percent, then it's going to be a long afternoon.

Q. Presumably, that halts your serving action?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I feel like I'm serving off one leg. It's sort of more on my right side, my right hip. And I think that's where a lot of your momentum going up into the serve comes from. So I feel like I've just been, you know, relying on my left leg a little bit. I don't feel like I've sort of gotten much turn into it. So, yeah, it's a bit frustrating. But, you know, you have to do the best you can. And, you know, would it have made much difference today? I doubt it, the way he was playing.

Q. What did the medic say about it?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I've just got to, yeah, a lot of stretching, a lot of massage just to try and loosen up because it can, you know -- the muscles in the area can just tighten up and it sort of blocks everything a little bit. I think if I have a few days' rest now and do a lot of that, then hopefully it will be much better for the Olympics.

Q. You're not considering MRIs or anything like that?

TIM HENMAN: No, no. It's not like -- I don't feel like it's sort of injured. But it's just very, very stiff and very tight. So I need to sort that out.

Q. You're 0-7 against Hewitt. Is that a tough mental block to get around?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think so. I think when, you know, someone has beaten you that many times and, you know, his style of play has caused me problems, you have to -- that's an issue that you've also got to deal with. And, you know, from, you know, from the word "go" he just -- he seems to, you know, execute and hit his shots so well. And, you know, whether they're passing shots or returns or lobs, you know, he was really playing great. And, you know, I think after his two good years where he was No. 1 and then, by his standard, his game sort of dropped off a little bit, there's been a sort of focus of attention on some others. And I wouldn't be surprised now if he really starts making a big surge towards the top again.

Q. Is there anything you can do to try and get around that?

TIM HENMAN: In regards to what?

Q. In the mental block.

TIM HENMAN: Yeah. I mean, yeah, again, you just -- every, you know, every opportunity is there to be taken. And, sure, I'm sure he takes confidence from that, but you've got to try and go out there and, you know, play the game that you think's going to give you the best chance.

Q. At that point where you got up on your chair, what was going on there?

TIM HENMAN: I mean, even on a hard court it leaves pretty clear marks. I was wondering whether he could see it from there. And to give him the benefit of the doubt, he probably couldn't see the mark, but I think they both should have seen the call because it was pretty slow and it was quite a long way out. But, again, in the context of the match, I don't think it made much difference.

Q. Made a difference to the crowd, though.


Q. When you do something like that, do you hope obviously to make a point to him, but do you think...

TIM HENMAN: It's irrelevant. It doesn't mean anything.

Q. An Olympic year adds a whole new layer of tennis. Are players at all concerned the summer schedule is just too long, too much tennis?

TIM HENMAN: I think the tennis calendar, the schedule is too long full stop. I think people have been saying that for a long, long time. But, you know, the Olympics comes around every four years, as we all know. I think the vast majority of us want to take the opportunity of participating in it. So the Olympics goes when it's the Olympics, and everything else works around it.

Q. What time did you manage to get to sleep last night?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, it was probably about four. Yeah, after I'd had some food and massage and stretch, it was about four. But I managed to sort of sleep till about half past eleven, so it wasn't too bad.

Q. Clearly not on dad duty this morning?

TIM HENMAN: No, no. I was exempt fortunately.

Q. Didn't have the office phoning you up at 9 o'clock this morning (laughing)?

TIM HENMAN: No, no (smiling).

Q. What's your plan now? Are you going to go home?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, yeah. We'll go home and then see what kind of the schedule is before the Olympics. I think tennis starts on the Sunday. So, you know, get there and, you know, hopefully get this sorted out and, you know, get ready to try and play a bit of that.

Q. Straight home tomorrow, is it?

TIM HENMAN: I don't know. I'm not sure.

End of FastScripts….

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