Tim Henman InterviewPosted on June 14, 2007
THE ARTOIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
June 12, 2007
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tim.
Q. Hard to take anything positive out of that?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, it's difficult. And we probably won't.
Q. What are your thoughts on it?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, it's about getting across the finish line, you know. If I'm a break up in the first set, you got to try and take advantage of that. Having a breakpoint to go up 5-1, you know, you don't take the opportunity, on grass it's just emphasized because three points later I'm down Love-40. Things do turn around so quickly.
You know, I began to then, you know, play a little bit better in the second set, early part of the third set. But, you know, you still got to finish off those opportunities, and I didn't do that.
Q. Is it just a confidence thing?
TIM HENMAN: I think first and foremost, yeah. I think obviously not playing enough matches and certainly not winning. You know, that's where I'd love it, if there was some specific thing, talk about a magic secret, but it doesn't exist. You have to keep working hard and doing the right things.
I think it's the same in any sport: if you're struggling on your confidence, you've got to keep working at it, take that form from the practice court onto the match court. I hope that's going to come sooner than later.
Q. You mentioned before that you would consider playing Nottingham. Is that now a certainty?
TIM HENMAN: Pretty much, yeah.
Q. To do that very thing?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah.
Q. Keep playing, keep getting matches?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think it's the only thing to do. It's another opportunity for me. That will be the plan.
Q. How much does it try your patience?
TIM HENMAN: A lot (smiling).
Q. To the point where it's difficult to keep trying?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, no, I can't hide from the fact that it's very frustrating. You know, I played this game long enough to understand certain aspects of it. You know, I'm going through a difficult spell right now. The only way I believe to come through it is working hard. And it is a challenge. There's no doubt that at my age, having played as long as I have, that probably emphasizes the challenge, increases the challenge.
But, you know, I want to still do this. So I don't think there are two ways about it.
Q. There doesn't come a time, does there, at any stage where you consider a different voice in your ear might help?
TIM HENMAN: A different voice that says the same thing (laughter)?
Q. A different voice might say something different.
TIM HENMAN: I probably wouldn't agree with it then.
Q. You're quite happy with everything?
TIM HENMAN: I'd love to blame a lot of other people.
Q. I wasn't necessarily saying that. But someone might come along, inspire you in a different way.
TIM HENMAN: I don't think so.
Q. Is it just things not clicking?
TIM HENMAN: I think it's a matter of winning. That's the big aspect. I'm in a rut right now and I've lost a lot of matches. I'd love to play horrendously and win. I don't want to, you know, keep hitting the ball all right and losing. So I think that is, you know, a big aspect of it.
You talk about getting on a roll, when winning becomes a habit. And losing is what's been happening a lot recently. I've got to try and break through that. The only way I break out of that is by winning.
Q. Do you think you've been putting a lot of pressure on yourself because you had a difficult start to the year; you're coming to your favorite part of the season?
TIM HENMAN: No, I don't think so. I think the timing of things were unfortunate. You look at the last string of tournaments I played - take this one aside - it's just been Masters Series and a Grand Slam. Those are on clay, playing some difficult matches. That's probably emphasized the point.
You know, still now I felt that this was a good opportunity, and it was a good opportunity. I was pretty keen to win today, don't get me wrong. But I don't think there was any sort of -- too much self-inflicted pressure. As I said, I was up 4-2 in the third. The opportunities were there, but I couldn't take it.
Q. (Question regarding age, and the last two opponents being younger.)
TIM HENMAN: I think it's irrelevant. When I played Agassi last year, you didn't all say I'm playing someone that's so old. You know, I don't really think the age -- it's not an issue. The way he serves, the way he hits his backhand was an issue for me today. Those are the nuts and bolts of his game.
Whether he's 18 or 38 doesn't matter.
Q. Comparing yourself now to 10 years ago, do you think more about matches, worry about confidence, things like that as you get older?
TIM HENMAN: Uhm, I think it's very different now. I think I'm obviously at a different stage of my career. In some respects early on in my career, you were able to work through it a little bit quicker. But on the other side of the coin, my perspective is probably a little bit different now.
You know, I certainly don't want people to start feeling sorry for me. It's frustrating, and I'm going to work my way through it. It's a game.
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