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March 13, 2004

Tim Henman


THE MODERATOR: Tim advances to the third round. He'll take on Alex Corretja.

Q. Tim, at any time did he scare you today?

TIM HENMAN: I don't think "scared" is quite the right word. But you're certainly going to treat him with the utmost respect. Won a couple matches in the quallies, had a good win against Mantilla. But, you know, as far as I was concerned, I was concentrating on what I was trying to do. For the most part, thought I was playing really well.

Q. Aces on big points were gratifying?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, no, I thought I served -- I thought I served well - you know, certainly pretty aggressive. Just the one game that I ended up losing my serve on, I went into that sort of area of perhaps trying a little bit too hard, where I was just forcing it, and lost my rhythm a little bit. But besides that, I felt very much in control, you know, of my service games. You know, that just bodes well for your game in general. I felt that once you're holding, then I was able to put him under pressure, you know, kept moving forward as much as possible. So, you know, not having played for 10 days or something, it was I think a solid performance.

Q. You've had a bit of time here with Paul. Have you had a chance to work on anything specific? Was that the intention?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I mean, we work on all aspects. But certainly the serve has been a focal point, you know, trying to be as aggressive as possible. But, you know, just committing to each and every serve, whatever serve I choose to hit. You go out there and try and hit it as well as possible. You know, both first and second serves, there's been an improvement. Hopefully that's going to continue - not just this week but for my game in general.

Q. In terms of his style, is he very kind of positive and upbeat as a coach, personality?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I mean, he's probably sort of -- I think he's pretty laid back. But I just think with his knowledge and certainly his experience, having worked with Sampras and that style of play, I think we're very clear in the way that we see my game and the way that I should be playing, the way that I can improve. You know, I think he's definitely having an impact. You know, I still say that the balance is right, though. I've enjoyed having my time at tournaments on my own. I've certainly enjoyed having the last week here working on things, continue that through Miami. But I do think this is the right balance to have, you know, a coach some of the time, but not all the time.

Q. Is there lots of positive reinforcement, more about what you're doing right rather than sort of picking on things that haven't gone so well?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think, again, I'm -- I don't think I'm the type of person that needs to be sort of reassured. I think I'm sort of secure enough. I think a lot of the time, you know, it's fairly obvious when something's good or something's not quite as good or it's bad. I think with just my serve, looking at the aspects that I've worked on, being aggressive, picking the spots and committing to that, I'm sure it's obvious to you guys watching when it's working. You know, I feel like my serve's a weapon again. You know, there were certainly times when I was serving too conservatively, but serving consistently. But now I feel when I'm standing up to the line, I'm getting some cheap points. When the ball's coming back a lot of the times, it's giving me an opportunity to dictate with the next shot. You know, that's something we're talking about pretty regularly. And when it works, it's a big benefit to me.

Q. We're talking tinkering with the serve as opposed to wholesale change?

TIM HENMAN: No, it's not really -- I think I did work very hard on my serve sort of technically, and perhaps I'm a little bit and too analytical. Having said that, I still think going through that process, probably three or four years ago I was very naive of the actual technical side of the serve. And I think I understand it much, much better now. And I think my serve has obviously improved. But, again, I don't really focus on the technical aspect now. It's much sort of simpler, broader thoughts. I think that's when I serve my best.

Q. Paul was known for his return game, sort of chip and charge, take all chances.


Q. Are you going to adopt more of that aggressive attitude?

TIM HENMAN: I think that's something that, you know, I'd like to think I've got a few more opportunities from the baseline than perhaps Paul had in his day (smiling). He might disagree. But certainly I think at times, because I think it's an asset that I have got options. On the other hand, I think at times I haven't quite played to my strengths enough of the time that perhaps I've been a little bit too cautious from the baseline, haven't taken some more risks in getting forward. Again, I think that's an aspect in the, you know, last year that I've tried to be a lot more aggressive. I think when I do that, that's when I'm going to be at my most dangerous.

Q. Is there a bit of renaissance going on in the skill game, with Roger playing the way he does, with you being a consistent factor? Granted, Pete has retired.

TIM HENMAN: Whatever the style of play, when you're playing at this level, it's going to be skillful. The variation is sometimes not always there because of the way the conditions are and perhaps the way people are taught these days. I think there's less of a focus on kind of that art of serving and volleying and moving forward, because I think in all honesty, it's probably harder to do now. Having said that, that's the way I've always played. That is my strength. I've got to be able to adapt it to whatever the surface. But I think it's important that it remains in some way, shape or form, because if we do end up with a lack of contrast, if everybody's just playing from the baseline, I don't think that's such an appealing spectacle.

Q. Can you quantify the difference between you and Federer? How much more of a pure attacker are you? Can you contrast the two of you?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think -- I mean, we both serve and volley. You know, I wouldn't say that we serve and volley all the time certainly. We've got the opportunities to come forward on the second shot, or whenever the opportunity may arise. I would say on my return of serve, I'm probably a lot more aggressive and chip and charge a lot more than perhaps he does. But I think, you know, he's shown that he's got that option. But I just think, you know, he looks pretty comfortable from the baseline, as well. You know, I think my strength is trying to get forward and put pressure on people's second serves. That's the way -- you know, that's the way I've been feeling I've had some success.

Q. Is he a player that you would enjoy watching?

TIM HENMAN: Yes, absolutely. He's actually been fairly enjoyable to play against, having had some success (smiling). Long may that continue. But having said that, yeah, when you see any of the fellow top players play him, when they're playing well. I think it's good to watch Agassi when he's dictating play, moving people around. Certainly with Federer, he's got the variation. You know, in the last six months, you know, longer, nine months since Wimbledon, he's been very impressive to watch.

Q. Couldn't see from the angle you were sitting at. Did they give you your little shield?

TIM HENMAN: They did.

Q. Was it nice?

TIM HENMAN: It was (smiling). Made sure it was there. Going to be trouble if it wasn't.

Q. Are you going to take it home in your hang luggage?

TIM HENMAN: I don't know. It looked like it was permanent on this one. Normally it was one you could sort of stick on the fridge maybe. This one looked a little more permanent. Maybe I'll try and scratch it off.

Q. Do you remember a British player named Michael Trudgeon, by any chance?

TIM HENMAN: No. Should I?

Q. Yesterday, it was one of the five players that beat Roddick in the grass court series in 1999, beat Roddick in '99 on grass. He mentioned Hilton and Mackin, one or two others, as well.

TIM HENMAN: No, never heard of Michael. What happened to Michael?

Q. That was a name he repeated. Mr. Kennison drug somebody up.

ALEX KENNISON: There was a Matt Trudgeon from a couple of years ago.

TIM HENMAN: Maybe Matt. It's not really springing to mind. Being a veteran of the game now, it's sort of different generation, isn't it?

Q. He said five Englishmen beat him on grass in '99.

TIM HENMAN: Really? Look where they are now (laughter). What went wrong?

Q. Discuss.

TIM HENMAN: Yeah (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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