Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Nowhere in particular.
Q. Maybe mixed emotions at the moment; a match you could have won?
TIM HENMAN: Yes, it's not perhaps the easiest situation mentally to play. It certainly is a match that I felt I could have won early on in the third. But, you know, certainly he is playing to a very, very high level. He enjoys this type of surface, and he's very aggressive off the ground.
You know, it's tough. I didn't think I was playing too badly myself at times. I think obviously a critical stage was the first game of the second set where I was 3‑1 down in the first, won five games in a row, playing some really good, good tennis.
I think on the first breakpoint, I had a chance just to come forward. I hit a good forehand, but I was a little bit far behind the baseline, didn't come in. You know, he played well to get himself out of trouble. He was then kind of playing with his nose in front in the second set.
Q. Presumably when you're playing someone so confident at the moment, playing as well as he is, your lack of matches in the last five or six weeks won't have helped either.
TIM HENMAN: No, I think it doesn't help when I broke to go up 2‑Love, the first point of the next game on my serve I serve and volleyed. I thought the serve was going to be out, but it was a great opportunity for me because I pretty much had an open court. It's shots like that, it's the first point of the game, but it just goes to show how important those points can be. I lost that point. Instead of being 15‑Love, I was Love‑15.
When he broke back, that certainly swung the momentum back in his favor.
Q. What's the state of the shoulder?
TIM HENMAN: My shoulder was the biggest ‑‑ well, the second biggest bonus of the match. It was good. I still have my doubts. I thought for the majority of the match, I was serving well, serving aggressively, with no inhibitions, no restrictions. That's obviously a positive.
Q. What was the first big bonus if that was the second?
TIM HENMAN: I suppose the first big bonus, being able to go home.
Q. Has it been very difficult to concentrate on the tennis?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, it's not easy. It's a learning process, isn't it? First time I've been through this. You know, I have to say on that side, it's a massive amount of fun. But it's not easy, you know, being away, trying to concentrate on things on the court when you kind of feel like there are far more important things at home.
But that's not to say I have any regrets. I'm certainly pleased I came here and played. It didn't go my way. That's the way it goes.
Q. How is Lucy? Any false alarms?
TIM HENMAN: No, she's fine. I think she's getting a little bit impatient. That makes two of us.
Q. What is the due date?
TIM HENMAN: Sunday.
Q. Was or is?
TIM HENMAN: Is due.
Q. What are your thoughts on Shanghai? This is a bit of a setback.
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, don't know. Again, what will be will be. It's definitely a big goal of mine. I've made that pretty clear all the way along. You know, losing today isn't going to help my cause. Yeah, we'll just have to wait and see.
Q. I suppose you look at it, a fit and healthy child is more important than getting to a tennis event?
TIM HENMAN: It is. I think you guys certainly appreciate that, having had kids of your own. I certainly feel no different. But given that that is the case, I certainly still want to give it my best shot to qualify for Shanghai.
Q. What would you say, if you can put it percentage‑wise, you felt today going into the match, as the match progressed?
TIM HENMAN: It's difficult. You know, my preparation is pretty ordinary at the moment. That's not through lack of effort. I haven't played a great deal. I haven't really practiced a great deal because I've still been trying to make the progress on my shoulder. I think I'm certainly succeeding in that area.
But, you know, mentally I think it would be fair to say I'm a little bit distracted. I think that's inevitable. That's not to make any excuses today. You know, he's playing pretty much as well as anyone. I'm glad we weren't playing on this surface in Birmingham a few weeks ago. He played really, really well.
Q. It's all part of, as you say, life's learning curve, isn't it?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I don't know how much learning there was, but certainly, you know, this is what it's all about, isn't it? It's been a tricky couple of days. You know, now we'll see if we can have some fun back home.
Q. How much time have you been spending on the phone?
TIM HENMAN: I mean, the phone's on. We speak pretty regularly anyway. Every time it does ring, my home number comes up, there's a couple of missed heartbeats (smiling).
Q. In the perfect world, if it were to come next week, you would have a little bit of time?
TIM HENMAN: That's right.
Q. All things being equal, are you still going to Paris?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, definitely. Again, it's up in the air, isn't it, until the baby arrives. In an ideal world, he or she can arrive in the next week or so, then I'd like to play Paris certainly. Question mark with Basel. We'll have to wait and see what happens. I can't really answer that until he or she arrives.
Q. Are you in in Basel?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I'm in. Again, I really don't know. I'm in Basel and Paris. I've got that opportunity. Just wait and see what happens.
Q. Will the baby be born in London?
TIM HENMAN: London. That's vague enough, isn't it (smiling)?
Q. Obviously, your plan today was to get in as often as you could. He's very comfortable if he has someone who he's rallying with at the back of the court. Your tactic was working for a while.
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I mean, even in those first few games ‑ I didn't play the best of first games, but I certainly won games playing worse, if you like . I had Love‑30 in his first service game, 15‑40 in his second service game, and didn't break.
I was able to get back on level terms. I felt, you know, for those five games, I played really, really well. As I said, it ended up being an important game the first game of the second set.
You know, the difference between here, obviously, and Birmingham is the bounce. Birmingham is probably about a foot and a half lower. Obviously, when he has the ball around waist height or higher, he's playing exceptionally well.
Q. How much has he improved? Since beating Agassi, he's improved faster than almost anybody.
TIM HENMAN: Certainly he'd get my vote for most improved this year. He's played exceptionally well. And, you know, his results, going back six, nine months, he's had some big wins, you're a little bit surprised. You know, you sort of sense that you underestimated him nine months ago, and suddenly he has another big win. You think, "He's getting better, isn't he?" He beats Agassi at Wimbledon. It's been a succession.
Q. Have you decided on any names for the child?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, a few.
Q. Paradorn? John Parsons?
TIM HENMAN: JP, the initials (smiling).
No, I don't know. We've got a few. I wouldn't say we've decided.
Q. Any family names?
TIM HENMAN: It's not going to be a tennis name.
Q. What about your nappy changing skills? Have you got approval from the midwives?
TIM HENMAN: I haven't had any practice yet.
Q. You'll get some.
TIM HENMAN: I'm sure I will. I think I'll be already.
Q. Just don't put it over that shoulder.
TIM HENMAN: No, no.
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?