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December 5, 1996

Tim Henman


Q. The 5-Love or 5-1, were you thinking of what happened to Todd Martin?

TIM HENMAN: It definitely crossed my mind. I was actually -- at 5-1, I was obviously serving for the match. When I served for the match against Stich, I was up 30-Love; then played two pretty loose points. Once I got to 30-Love again, I thought, "Let's try to make life easy, get to 40-Love." I managed to miss a pretty easy volley. Just didn't play the best of games in the end. I got to match point. Then to lose my serve, I'm still up a break, so you try not to press too many panic buttons. Obviously when you know a guy came back from 5-1 at the semi at Wimbledon, it does cross your mind. I was serving well up to then. I thought if I could play one more good game, it shouldn't be a problem.

Q. Service game was pretty well, wasn't it?

TIM HENMAN: If you could use the microphone (laughter)

Q. Service game was pretty well?

TIM HENMAN: I think I served very well. It seemed like I was serving a lot of aces, which obviously always helps. Apart from that one loose game at 5-1, I didn't feel like I was in too much trouble on my serve.

Q. You broke the 130 MPH barrier?

TIM HENMAN: David said to me afterwards I hit 213, whatever, whatever that converts to. I think it's a little bit of help with the altitude.

Q. Two points from the end, good time to do it?

TIM HENMAN: Yeah, it was. That's right. I was keen to. I had my match point, now I had to serve for it again. Obviously, you don't want to waste another opportunity. To finish it off, I was pleased to do so.

Q. Tim, have you ever played better indoors?

TIM HENMAN: I think it's definitely one of my best matches indoors or outdoors. I think when I played in Ostrava, I played particularly well. I think when I beat Forget in Lyon, I played very well. It's definitely up there with one of my best performances.

Q. Is the money started to intrude a little bit on your thoughts? You're up to nearly half a million?

TIM HENMAN: Obviously I'm aware of it. Played for a lot of money today, make no bones about it. I think you look at it from a tennis point of view, I play Boris Becker in his hometown over five sets, I don't think it can get much better than that. Maybe to play him at Wimbledon on center court, but that's probably his home as well. (laughter).

Q. You've had a very good season. You earned some prize money. Now in two matches you earned more than in the whole season. Isn't that a funny feeling?

TIM HENMAN: How much is it?

Q. 430.

TIM HENMAN: Is it 430? What did I earn this year.


TIM HENMAN: I'm not complaining, that's for sure. I've had a good year. I look back at some of the results I've had, suddenly to come here and just win two matches, pretty much equal that, it does seem, you know, a little bit odd. I won't complain about that, you know.

Q. Tim, Becker talked about the hard work involved in generating a lot of power on the serve. You're not the biggest guy in the world. How do you do it? Is it just a lot of work?

TIM HENMAN: I think it shows -- I think people have said in England that maybe I played too much tennis this year, you know, I was tired. But, you know, I think the way I performed, the way I served today is not somebody that's tired and has played too much. I think I was serving, you know, pretty big by most people's standards. It shows that I can serve big now. If I can go away and become stronger, then maybe I can serve, you know, even more consistently. That gives me a great deal of confidence.

Q. Had you really written the year off after your last tournament, and this came as a bit of a surprise, I suppose?

TIM HENMAN: I think after the nationals, I thought that may have been it. So, I was obviously going to come here and what I thought was going to be a reserve for the week. I had my fingers crossed. Now that I've got into the tournament, I'm taking advantage of it.

Q. Would the word "fairytale" apply, do you think?

TIM HENMAN: I don't know. It's very pleasing. Whether it's a fairytale or not, I don't know.

Q. What can tennis do to get more players like you who really want to play? So many escapees here? What do you recommend?

TIM HENMAN: I can only speak from my point of view. I said yesterday, I've said many times before, it's what I enjoy doing. It's my hobby. As it goes this week, I'm getting pretty well paid for my hobby.

End of FastScripts….

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