Sat, Jul 05, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Depressed Henman vows to try again after latest failure

REUTERS , LONDON

A dejected Tim Henman admitted time was running out for him to win Wimbledon after his latest failure on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Briton's four-set quarter-final defeat by Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean was the seventh time in eight years he has lost in either quarter or semi-finals at the All England Club.

"Maybe, I think perhaps my chances are getting less. But that won't stop me coming back and trying," said Henman, whose annual bid to end his country's 67-year wait for a Wimbledon men's champion has become a national obsession.

"I wouldn't say they [my chances] are diminishing greatly. It's inevitable as the standards are getting better, I have to find ways to keep improving.

"That's not going to stop me coming back. This is the one tournament I desperately want to win. In the bigger picture, in my career, I've still got another four or five years.

"You've got to have belief if you don't believe in yourself you've got no shot. At moments like this it's difficult to accept but it doesn't detract from my belief that I can go away and improve."

Henman accepted he had been outplayed by Grosjean over the two days of their rain-affected match.

"His standard of play over the whole course of the match was better than mine," said Henman.

"He served better than me. He served great. On return of serve he's very, very solid. He didn't volley much but I didn't volley well.

"In most aspects I didn't match up well. I give Seb a lot of credit. He played better than me. But that doesn't really hide my disappointment and frustration at outcome of today's match."

Henman, the 10th seed, would have faced big-serving Australian Mark Philippoussis in the semi-finals had he won, with a final against Swiss fourth seed Roger Federer or American fifth seed Andy Roddick after that.

"You look at Roddick, Federer and Philippoussis, the way they have been playing, if I was in the semis with them it's tough to make me a favorite ahead of any of them," he conceded.

Henman refused to blame his recent shoulder injury for his defeat, but admitted he was finding it hard to carry the burden of British expectations single-handed.

"I'd like other [British] players to be competing at a higher level. If you've got eight or 10 players in the top 50 or 100 it is good for competition, it deflects some of the attention."

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