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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

Williams tells fans: get off Henman's back
By Ronald Atkin
04 July 2004



Richard Williams, father of the Williams sisters, last night warned British tennis fans to "get off Tim Henman's back" or risk destroying the country's leading tennis player. After watching his daughter Serena lose the women's final yesterday, Williams urged: "It is time the fans here realised the amount of pressure on that young man is just tremendous.

"When you have a whole country riding on your shoulders how can you cope with it, every day looking at the newspapers and seeing yourself on the front pages? He was in the locker room when I went there the other day and I felt like asking him how he survived under such pressure.

"I also spoke to Tim's parents just before the quarter-final [the defeat by Mario Ancic] and asked how they were standing up to it all. They said it must be just the same for me with Venus and Serena, but it's not. It's much worse for the Henmans.

"If he doesn't win, it seems like no one wants to talk to him. How can the fans of this country be that tough on him, yelling at him? One guy in the crowd the other day even had his hands together, praying. If he wins he's a god, if he loses he's a dog. I wonder what must be going through his mind. But if he ever wins this tournament, he could be the next king of England."

Williams thinks the expectation heaped on Henman, who was beaten by the unseeded Croat Ancic in the quarter-finals, could even be harming future British tennis prospects. "What's happening to Henman might be keeping a lot of British kids from coming into the game. When they see what's happening to him, who wants to volunteer to be the next victim?

"I wouldn't say that's the only reason why no young talent is making it on the tours, but it's about 70 per cent of the reason in my opinion. If I was a British boy or girl I wouldn't be interested in taking up tennis. Even when Mr Henman wins, if the win is not impressive they say 'He didn't look good'. How much can a human being take?

"I think he is playing the best tennis of anybody because nobody else at Wimbledon has that type of pressure. I notice that he has improved his serve a great deal, his movement around court is better. His courage and guts are stronger coming to the net.

"That's amazing considering what pressure everyone is putting on him. Tim Henman and Paul Annacone are working well together. Tim just had a bad day last Thursday. Everyone has a bad day now and then. Venus had a bad day in the second round. So you aren't going to get anyone coming through because of what is happening to Mr Henman. I don't think I could change that, or anyone else could."
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 06:19 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

Fair play to Richard

When Tim lost, the British papers absolutely shredded him to pieces. It was unbelievable how cruel they were. Its so unfair that so much expectations are put on him, he doesnt ask for them at all

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 06:30 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

nice words of dad Williams
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 06:36 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

yeah, i've always thought if the fans treated him like he was french he would've won it by now
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 06:44 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

poor Henman
i really really hope that he wins Wimbledon sometime
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 06:48 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

tnx Kip for posting that, that's really far and a IMO good contribution.

I agree with that what Richard Williams said. I wouldn't call myself a fan of Henman, but even I notice how much pressure is on him and how unfair he is often treated. Some comments are really too harsh. :harsh:

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 06:49 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

My heart sinked when I saw Tim's eyes after his loss to Mario Ancic, full of disappointment and helpless, it must be an awful feeling and I didn't feel much better than him.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 07:38 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

He definitely is right in saying that the british should try to back off and leave him alone otherwise he may never ever win it. He is a very good player and by putting too much pressure on him will not help him at all. I feel sorry for Henman and hope that things do turn out well for him next year.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 07:46 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

I totally agree with Mr. Williams.

I thought a big headline out of the FO was Tim making it to the semis. Then the first set he played against Coria had me mesmerized. He was really hitting everything. All the British press could say was that he was messing himself up for Wimbledon.

Then during ESPNs Wimbledon coverage, they had a woman reporter on from one of the local papers and she was soooo negative towards Tim.

When Tim has a set back in a match, the crowd don't cheer him on, they just sit there all tensed up like they are on a death watch. It's awful!

Tim's fortitude and his game have probably gained him more "real" fans outside of the U.K. than in it. I have a great deal of respect for him and wish him all the best.

Having written all of that, I think his best chance of winning Wimbledon came and went in 2001. But, you never know.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 09:50 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

Now I'm just surprised by the Williamses starting from Wimbledon. Is it really them? I mean, the things they're saying and how they're acting is NOT like them! Venus and Serena were gracious in defeat, Richard congratulating other player supporters and saying many positive things about other players, and now Richard being concerned for other players, but also he's actually been MAKING SENSE!

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 10:07 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

I think too, that they way Henman was treated, by press and fans alike was disgraceful. It's just that there is such a feeling of desperation about it all and it gets stronger every year. How he still manages to perform the way he does and with the resolve and determination he has is just a tribute to what a class act he truly is- if only more peole here in Britain could realize that...
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 10:07 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

Quote:
Richard congratulating other player supporters and saying many positive things about other players, and now Richard being concerned for other players, but also he's actually been MAKING SENSE!
I know...when did Richard Williams become so like-able? He was also great about the whole wrong score incident.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 10:11 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

i heard richard williams was releasing a cover version of a song this year......"all i want for christmas is my 2 front teeth, ma 2 front teeth, ma 2 front teeth lalala"
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 10:34 PM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

Tim
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-06-2004, 12:34 AM
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Re: Williams: Get Off of Henman's Back

I agree with Richard Williams Give Tim a break, people!!
Watch, i guarentee you at the Open, you may see Tim make the semis or even the finals, possibly win it! I think it makes that much a difference.

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