Non-British perspective on Tim Henman - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

For ppl outside the UK this is. Cos inside the UK its like Henman is a great player, he's got to 4 Wimbeldon semi's, been in the top 5 etc. The hype around him is so ott. I jst wanted to ask some ppl away from the hype what they thought of him!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 07:26 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

not everyone in the UK is Henman's biggest fan
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 07:33 PM
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Well I AM British, but I can assure you that the "hype" you talk about is only media-driven during the Wimbledon fortnight, and aimed mainly at the "fair-weather" tennis viewers who only watch tennis for two weeks a year, and the majority of genuine British tennis fans can talk in a totally un-biased fashion about Tim. I certainly would NEVER support a player just because he happened to come from the same country as me and neither would any of my friends, so, - my view of Tim (if you are interested even though I am British........!) is as follows:-

I think he is a better than average player, - but certainly not a potential Grand Slam winner and not in the same league as a Federer or Ferrero. His volleys are superb without doubt (he is probably the best natural serve and volleyer left in the game today) but his nerve and concentration lets him down in stressful situations, especially when playing someone he thinks is "better than him", which is why he had such a poor record against Sampras and, presently against Hewitt. His serve often lets him down (especially since his recent shoulder surgery), although I saw him play in Paris in October and have to admit he was serving superbly then to win that tournament.

I have met Tim many times and he is a really sweet guy and a real gentleman, and I think, as a person, his pleasant manner and graciousness may make him more deserving of success on a personal level than some others. However, I feel he has "over-achieved" at Wimbledon, - as many other players do with the comfort of playing at home, and I do not see him reaching the Top 5.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 08:02 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

Excellent post there from Rosie - I largely agree, although if anything I think he's underachieved at Wimbledon considering he had the potential to reach the final twice (this year and 2001). If he manages to continue this improved serving and relaxed attitude from Paris - and that's really the key to his chances - then I still think he can win Wimbledon either next year or, just possibly, the year after. That's his only window of opportunity left, however. Considering that he's very likely indeed to be back in the Top 10 by the time the grass court season comes around next year, I don't see why Top 5 shouldn't be a possibility.

Interesting views on Sampras and Hewitt - I do think Henman didn't believe he could beat either of them, but the difference is that in reality he actually could beat Sampras as he eventually showed away from Wimbledon, whereas Hewitt is lethal to him in every department. I'll say it right here, Henman will never win Wimbledon if he has to face Hewitt at any stage of the tournament. Federer? Roddick? Definitely both beatable.

I don't understand this view that Henman is overhyped, personally. He is talked about in detail and all his matches are covered, as any television broadcaster would follow the progress of their home player, but the last time I checked no-one ever labelled him as a potential no. 1 and multiple GS champion. Whatever goals it's been suggested he could reach, he's perfectly capable of doing so.

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ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 08:21 PM
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yeah he's pretty much better than average, but i have a hard time seeing him win a Grand Slam. it took him forever just to win a TMS

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 08:27 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

I'm not British and I really like Tim a lot. He always comes off as super-classy really likable guy... I dunno, I've always liked watching him play at Wimby and I've always been cheering for him to win it. If you read a lot of what other players say about Tim, they always have good things to say. A couple of times, Andy said that he's one of the most underrated athletes on the tour, and I've read several other really good comments from other players too. So I dunno..... I hate this "overrated" and "overhyped" stuff. The situation in the UK, from my perspective, isn't all that different from the one here, except that the British press is looking for a real tennis star in a more dire situation than in the US, but it's the same thing with Andy, that the press in the respective countries is looking and yearning for someone who can carry the sport in the countries. I personally don't think it's wrong and it doesn't bother me for any player (whether it's Andy and the US, Tim and the UK, Paradorn and Thailand/Asia, whatever).

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 08:29 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

Playing on indoor carpet and facing an opponent in the final who wasn't his nemesis certainly helped... I do think he could beat all those players individually away from Paris, but I don't think he would have beaten them all consecutively like he did if the surface hadn't favoured his game so much. And of course the great support he got from an appreciative French crowd - now there's an unlikely scenario, but it happened...

The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 08:32 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

And the difference between Paris and Wimbledon is that in Paris he had no pressure. No one ever expected he would beat all those players all right in a row like that.... however in Wimbledon, half the country practically sits on "Henman Hill" - it's just a lot different and if he's not someone who can feed off of pressure instead of letting it get to him, then that will be a factor, because the surface at Wimby favors Tim as well.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 08:40 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

The sad thing is that Tim is likely to be remembered as the guy who couldn't win Wimbledon, and only those who know tennis well will appreciate that reaching 4 wimbledon semis and winning the paris masters are excellent accomplishments in themselves.

Similarly, Goran was destined to be remembered as a failure of sorts, despite the fact that he had reached three Wimby finals! That's why I was so glad he was able to get that win at last, and I would love Tim to be able to do the same. Odds are against him, but it's not impossible. The guy can really play on grass!
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 08:52 PM
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Re: Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

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Originally Posted by bunk18bsb
And the difference between Paris and Wimbledon is that in Paris he had no pressure. No one ever expected he would beat all those players all right in a row like that.... however in Wimbledon, half the country practically sits on "Henman Hill" - it's just a lot different and if he's not someone who can feed off of pressure instead of letting it get to him, then that will be a factor, because the surface at Wimby favors Tim as well.
A very good point, just like at Washington where he wasn't a big name at all, and it rather makes a mockery of his assertion that the crowd support helps him at Wimbledon... I think it gets him through the early rounds where he's not playing his best, but in the big matches I think the pressure of the Centre Court atmosphere has gotten to him, whatever he may say to the contrary.

I'm hardly surprised, to be honest - I can safely say that on a purely aural level the Henman fans at Wimbledon are the most annoying tennis crowd in the world. Crowds always have a certain character to their support - the French are boisterous, New Yorkers are pugnacious and in-your-face, the Aussies are enthusiastic - and we seem to be anxious, unfortunately. Most crowds only lay on the noise at important points, but when Henman's playing it seems every point is life or death since you get the panicking wails of "Come on Tim!" every minute. It must piss off his opponents intensely, I'm sure.

The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 09:07 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

hahaha well, some players just have trouble playing at home...if Tim says the crowd support helps, maybe it does in the earlier rounds but when it gets to where the title might be within sight, the pressure overtakes the help that the crowd gives him? Look at Lleyton at the AO.... Fed has always had a little trouble at Basel, and then there are players who thrive at home like Andy, Ferrero, etc... each player reacts to it differently and maybe it doesn't help Tim as much as he might want it to LOL

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 09:50 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

I like Tim Henman very much and I really hope he wins a slam one day. I dream big.

But like Rosie said (we agree again! whoo hoo! ), the hype surrounding Tim is mostly media-driven. I haven't met one Brit yet who actually believes he's "all that." They may think he's a decent chap and a very good player but he's no where near being a great player. He's just not in the same league as the top players right now and it has nothing to do with him being a serve-and-volley player.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 11:06 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

A fairly good grass player, top 10 on grass, who will never quite have the weapons to threaten the top players and certainly never win Wimbledon.

Average top 25 player on other surfaces. He will never win a slam and should be ecstatic he has won a master series.

Good volleyer however the serve is not good enough to make him a classic serve - volley player and his grounstrokes are not consistent enough. Grass covers up his serve deficiencies which makes him a better player there.

Not surprising England are overhyping him, after he retires it is going to be another long long draught before a english man makes the Wimbledon semis again, let alone as many times as Henman.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 11:26 PM
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Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

Not many ppl. here in Ohio know who he is unless you really follow tennis. My sis only knows him as "the vampire."

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 01:10 AM
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Re: Re: Non-British perspective on Tim Henman

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyverN
A fairly good grass player, top 10 on grass, who will never quite have the weapons to threaten the top players and certainly never win Wimbledon.
Considering who he beat in Paris and the fact that the surface there is about as close to grass as you can get without being grass, I don't know how you can say that with "certainty" - no, in all likelihood not, but I don't think you can be 100% certain.

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