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View Full Version : HENMAN: "I PREFER CLAY TO GRASS"


pistol
05-04-2005, 10:41 AM
the source: http://www.telecomitaliamasters.it/

Tim Henman no longer enjoys playing on the grass of Wimbledon and now prefers the softer, slower clay courts found in Paris and Rome, he said today.

In an interview following his second round win over clay court specialist Nicolas Massu, the British number one said the changes made to the Wimbledon courts in recent years have made it more difficult for him to come to the net.

When combined with his growing confidence on clay, as evidenced by his inspired run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros in Paris last year, he now prefers the brown surface to the green, he said: "I find it sometimes harder to come in on a grass court than I do say on clay courts right now."

The net-rusher is still best known for his results at Wimbledon, but last year got further in the gland slam events of France and the US. Wimbledon grass is now 100% "rye" which has made it harder and now favours different styles of player, Henman said.

"What's disappointing about Wimbledon is hyow much I really don't enjoy playing on grass now because it's changed so much," said Rome's number four seed. The changes made to his home surface were "somewhat disappointing."

"The grass court has changed massively. They're so much harder and so true, the ball bounces up a lot higher."

"Here if you're hitting a good shot, you feel like it goes through the court. I think a combination with the grass changing to 100% rye and the balls...it's so soft... the ball almost stops and sits up. And that's why i think you've seen different styles being so much more successful at Wimbledon."

Tim has never got past the third round here in Rome but he looked on-form this afternoon and obviously feels confident on clay. "I wouldn't say clay is my best surface but it's definitely one of my most enjoyable," he said. "It's obviously pleasing how much my game has improved. It goes to show how effective I can be with my style."

Any opinions?, please reply, many thanks pistol.

Feņa14
05-04-2005, 11:18 AM
Nice post pistol :)

I have to agree about the bad changes been made to Wimbledon, us Brits seem to care too much about pleasing people and not preparing the surface to help our home player.

It's an advantage that we have and we should make use of it to help Henman, I understand Hewitt feels the same about the Rebound Ace in Australia.


As I said in another thread, Henman really is a delight to watch on clay with his old school style of play, hopefully he can continue it over the coming month.

BreakPoint
05-04-2005, 12:07 PM
Didn't Henman beat three-time French Open champ Guga Kuerten in the 1st round in Rome in straight sets? Pretty impressive, seeing that Kuerten was the one to stop Federer last year from winning a Grand Slam by taking him out of the French. For a serve-and-volleyer to beat Kuerten (Mr. Clay Court) on clay must mean that Henman is playing really smart tennis and has greatly improved his backcout game and patience.

Craig Sheppard
05-04-2005, 12:43 PM
BP, yes he did but Tim beat Guga when it was only Guga's third ATP match of the year. The commentators noted that no one was expecting much of Guga, and it did show he was not in top shape. But Tim is really playing very neat and tidy on clay... I'm a fan of course, not saying he didn't play well. He looked very impressive today as well. I hope he does well in Hamburg and at RG...

gugafanatic
05-04-2005, 03:16 PM
Didn't Henman beat three-time French Open champ Guga Kuerten in the 1st round in Rome in straight sets? Pretty impressive, seeing that Kuerten was the one to stop Federer last year from winning a Grand Slam by taking him out of the French. For a serve-and-volleyer to beat Kuerten (Mr. Clay Court) on clay must mean that Henman is playing really smart tennis and has greatly improved his backcout game and patience.

Tim Henman will not reach the semis of RG, unless he gets a "miracle" draw like last year. Guga is suferring more then any other player right now, in terms of winning matches. If Guga had more confidence this match would not have been a contest.

DashaandSafin
05-04-2005, 03:20 PM
Oh yea if guga had more confidence he would have won right? Just like hes going to "magically" get better for Roland Garros and win it all right? How old is guga now? Shame he had that hip surgery. Yea henman has so many miracle draws just like Andy Roddick god the tourtamentmustfavorthem....jeez.

Marius_Hancu
05-04-2005, 03:23 PM
Tim Henman will not reach the semis of RG, unless he gets a "miracle" draw like last year. Guga is suferring more then any other player right now, in terms of winning matches. If Guga had more confidence this match would not have been a contest.

It's not just confidence. It's also about his physical state, unfortunately.

Last year, during his best times (beating Federer, etc), Guga recognized he's not able to play more than one hour without pain. And I'd be very surprised if the situation changed after his last surgery. Th hip is a very, very tough issue.

gugafanatic
05-04-2005, 03:34 PM
Marius Guga has stated in press conferances that the pain is no longer a major issue. He has been training for high intensitys and feels no pain. Hes hip surgery seems to have been a success, yet being away for 6 months seems to have affected hes match confidence and shot selection. I really do believe that Guga can turn it around for RG. He can usually gain some external inspiration from the crowd and memories at RG, I hope this is the case this year.