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March 21, 1998

Tim Henman


Q. Did you find that windy?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, yeah. I think that is stating the obvious. Sure, it is definitely not the easiest of conditions to play in. In my present state I think it makes it even harder when you are struggling to win matches. But I think -- I have been hitting the ball as well as I have ever hit the ball in practice. But, obviously, it is no good leaving that on the practice court. You have got to do it in the matches. I think today probably my concentration and my sort of mental approach was what won me the match. And I think I tried to treat it pretty much like Sidney. It is very, very windy. The balls are pretty light. So I think that was the game plan. In the last few weeks I don't think I have had enough purpose of what I have actually been trying to do on the court. I haven't had a clear picture of what I am trying to do with each and every shot. Today there was, definitely there was that plan of attack.

Q. How much do you tailor your game to suit the player you are playing against?

TIM HENMAN: You don't want to change anything too drastically, because I think if you played -- certainly if I play the way I am capable of, then hopefully that will take care of the match. But sure, Stafford returns as well as everyone. You have got to take that into consideration. I don't want to be letting him get into too much of a rhythm. You have got to try and mix it up a little bit. That is what I did, I think. I served well and I serve and volleyed on quite a lot of occasions. Sometimes I stayed back on the first serve and serve and volleyed on the second serve.

Q. Was it nice - I mean, this year, obviously you have had a lot of close matches and struggles - to have a very routine undramatic sort of --

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, 6-4, 6-2, I think to most people it would be pretty routine. But it definitely didn't feel like that. I was -- sure, I was nervous on different occasions. My first service game I don't know how many. I probably hit 6 out of 8 first serves, and saw 4 of them go back past me for clear winners. There is -- a doubt creeps into your mind, like "Here we go again." That is where you have got to be mentally strong to put that to the back of your mind and get on with things.

Q. You said he is a good returner. You served very well today, very high first serve percentage. Were you hitting your serve all out?

TIM HENMAN: No, I don't think you are going to be serving full out. It is difficult with A, your ball toss and the wind affecting that. And the wind is going to affect the flight of the serve itself. You can't still just push it in because it is giving him the initiative. I was aggressive, but controlled. I think that summed up not just my serve, but my whole game. When I got opportunities, I came forward a lot more than perhaps I have been. That obviously paid dividends.

Q. Moya next, Tim?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah. We have played. I think we have played on three occasions. I have won twice. And good memories from playing in Sidney and similar conditions. So I think my game plan was very similar to today's game plan, so that is what I think I have to try and continue. But, no doubt, it is a good feeling to have, you know, a win like I have today. It is not the best win. I have obviously had to beat somebody like Stafford, but it is a start of hopefully trying to get some momentum going.

Q. You are ahead of the game from last year, aren't you, though? First round loss last year, so now you are --

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, it is nice to be healthy. I think that is a positive thing that I have got to, you know, focus a little bit on. Sure, I have had a bad run of form. But until Nottingham, basically I don't have anything to defend. So, I always try and take advantage of that.

Q. Have you been given any clue whether you will be playing tomorrow or Monday?

TIM HENMAN: From what Joe Lynch just said, he thought that everybody played all third-round matches were tomorrow, but I am not --

Q. Will they do a day off after that?

TIM HENMAN: I would have thought so. Otherwise then it would be the semis by Tuesday.

Q. Have you sat down with David in the last ten days or at Indian Wells and looked at your game?

TIM HENMAN: It has been plenty of time to think about things, plenty of time to practice, and probably not enough matches. But fundamentally there is nothing wrong with my tennis game. Each and every shot I am hitting as well as I have probably ever hit it. But I think it is whether I am actually using them in the right way. And that is something that obviously has had a lot of my attention and I think -- yeah, I have said it before when I have played poorly, I think against Wayne Black, I spent the whole match bar of 6 or 7 points on the baseline and that is not the way I am going to play. Other times I haven't, you know, indoors I haven't been (inaudible) with my serve. I think that is easy to say it now, but it is not particularly smart. Today, I hit some shots that weren't particularly good, but they are sort of good shots in the wind, if you like. It is not easy to pass or go to the net a lot and volleyed pretty well. So I think I have progressed as, you know, a tennis player over the last few years, I think everybody has known I have had the ability, but it is like now I have got to learn a little bit more on the mental side and that is what I am doing at the moment. Can't take that for granted.

Q. Has it been a situation with where you have played a shot with hindsight, you knew it was the wrong shot; do you realize that immediately and worry about that or is it something afterwards you think about how you should have played?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think at times maybe you are not -- actually, I think it is pretty important to stay in the -- sort of in the present. You don't want to be thinking about what has happened previously and whether it is previous games or previous matches and you don't want to be looking too far in advance thinking about the results of this match or whatever. But that is where I don't think I have probably been distracted in thinking too further afield and not just actually thinking about the shots. Sometimes, you know, you set up; you have got a forehand and you hit a certain type of shot and then you step back and think "Why on earth did I hit that shot?" I think it comes back to the ability to think clearly and just keep things simple. In the past I probably had too many thoughts in my head.

End of FastScripts....

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