The Henman Appreciation Thread

kissmyace

Rookie
Just paying my respects to an unlikely looking world class athelete but a huge world talent non-the-less. He was someone who i would always watch for the drama, some good, some ugly, and the flowing game style which you see less and less these days.
He will be missed by me at least. Here's a toast to him, and all the best for his retirement and focusing on his family life.
 
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Bogie

Hall of Fame
i'm with you all the way. i always loved watching henman play and he would always keep us on the balls of our feet. he will be greatly missed as a great representation of the game and of his unique style. very sad day when i heard he was calling it quits.
 

Elina

Rookie
I'll miss Timmy... Soon there will be no serve and volleyers... *sigh* But all the best for Timmy in the future and hope he enjoys time with his growing family. :)
 

Wuornos

Professional
I've heard a lot about the fact that Tim never won a major. Personally I think he can consider himself extremely unlucky. I can think of a number of players who won majors who never had Tim's talent. It was just Tim's bad luck to be competing at Wimbledon at the same time as Sampras.

For me Tim is the greatest player Britain has produced in the open era. It has given me great pleasure to watch his matches over the years and I sincerely hope he achieves a future career within tennis.

Good luck for the future Tim. I wish you all the best.
 
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Moose Malloy

G.O.A.T.
Personally I think he can consider himself extremely unlucky. I can think of a number of players who won majors who never had Tim's talent.
really? like who. I'm just curious what your definition of talent is. Henman was a fine player, but I never though of him as a great talent, like say Rios or Mecir.

Even compared to some recent one slam winners, Ferrero, Roddick, Gaudio, Johansson, his talent doesn't seem that much better(or even better at all in some ways)

I think Henman got the most out his ability, like Michael Chang. Don't think he would have won Wimbledon in any other era, it wasn't just due to Sampras. Mac, Edberg, Becker, Cash, Borg, Connors were all better imo.
 

Vector

Banned
really? like who. I'm just curious what your definition of talent is. Henman was a fine player, but I never though of him as a great talent, like say Rios or Mecir.

Even compared to some recent one slam winners, Ferrero, Roddick, Gaudio, Johansson, his talent doesn't seem that much better(or even better at all in some ways)

I think Henman got the most out his ability, like Michael Chang. Don't think he would have won Wimbledon in any other era, it wasn't just due to Sampras. Mac, Edberg, Becker, Cash, Borg, Connors were all better imo.
What he said
 

Warriorroger

Hall of Fame
Will miss the classy groundstrokes and just him playing at Wimbledon. It's weird, but I found his game beautiful to watch on clay. I wish him a good life. For the other two posters: the op started an appreciation thread. Who cares if he's less or more of talent than a Rios or Mecir.
 
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Bigtime

Rookie
Just returned to playing & watching tennis last year, so I missed a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Henman @ Wimbledon this year (on TV). Too bad I just tuned in at the end of his career. I too, am lamenting the loss of serve & volley. I guess all I can do is try to keep S & V alive @ the club level by being a throwback myself.
 

onkystomper

Hall of Fame
I thnk he did great things for the game in the UK and as normal the press gave him a hard time. There are a lot of players who will never reach a slam semi, yet alone 6. It is a shame to see hm go.
 

Fearsome Forehand

Professional
The death knoll for serve and volley tennis continues to ring louder and louder..

Henman had the misfortune of playing in an era with the best grass court tennis player of the modern times; Sampras.

He had a real shot in at Wimby in 2001. He had Goran unconscious on the ropes and then the rains came. Tim won the 4th set 6-0 in about 18 minutes. Bad Goran had fully emerged; it was all over. But, then it started raining and they had to play the fifth the next day. A refreshed Goran the Good showed up and no final for the Timster. Henman against Rafter would have made for a great final especially since no Englishman has won at Wimby since the 1930's.

If he stays in shape, Tim should ask for a wildcard at Wimby next year.
 

martinross

New User
Henman at Cincinnati

Just had the pleasure this month of seeing Henman for the first time in person at Cincinnati Masters. Though he lost to Chela in three, when he was on, partcularly in the second set which he won, he played like no one else in this era perhaps in any - such gracefulness and touch while despite his bad back appearing to exert little effort - always the sign of greatness. I would have not so appreciated his game had I not seen it live and up close, thanks Tim, I'm glad to have seen you!
 
Fantastic player, and my favourite player ever! Had never seen him live before this year, when I saw him at Nottingham, Wimbledon (both days of his classic with Moya!), and will see him (hopefully) at Davis Cup in Wimbledon in September. He will be greatly missed, especially as we realise what Britain has to back up Murray with, but will surely have a great retirement, and put a great deal into tennis in other ways.
 
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laurie

Guest
The death knoll for serve and volley tennis continues to ring louder and louder..

Henman had the misfortune of playing in an era with the best grass court tennis player of the modern times; Sampras.

He had a real shot in at Wimby in 2001. He had Goran unconscious on the ropes and then the rains came. Tim won the 4th set 6-0 in about 18 minutes. Bad Goran had fully emerged; it was all over. But, then it started raining and they had to play the fifth the next day. A refreshed Goran the Good showed up and no final for the Timster. Henman against Rafter would have made for a great final especially since no Englishman has won at Wimby since the 1930's.

If he stays in shape, Tim should ask for a wildcard at Wimby next year.
I made what I think is a valid point about Henman on General Pro Player Discussion.

When people talk about Henman been a classic serve and volleyer there are two important areas that meant he was never in a position to win Wimbledon or a slam on a hardcourt.

One was his serve. I can't ever remember Henman having easy hold games against top class opponents in big matches. Most of his service games were struggles. For an attacking player the Henman ace court is extremely low to be nearly non existent. We all know attacking players like to having easy holds so they could really have a go at the service return. Consequently Henman had all sorts of 4 hr struggles at Wimbledon - Kafelnikov in 1996, Courier in 1999, Moya this year. It's too physical to go through a whole event without having at least 3 easy matches.

The next very important area was the passing shot. Henman actually had a very good return of serve, good at blocking the ball back and getting a high percentage of returns in, but what happened afterwards? At Wimbledon if you want to beat the best you must on average hit 6 out every 10 passing shots. Now we all know that Sampras was good at hitting passing shots off both wings, a definite added bonus for an attacking player.

These two areas made it very hard for Henman to win Wimbledon, US Open or Australian Open.

A lot of people will say Henman would have done better in previous eras. I disagree with that. One thing that stands out about players from the 1970s to early 1990s is the toughness, the hardness. Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, Stich, Cash - these guys were hard, they wanted a scrap, a fight - I can't see Henman surviving in that type of environment. Sampras might have appeared quiet but one thing he learned from the guys mentioned above was the toughness and the fight to the death. That suited him down to the ground.

So I'm afraid looking at Henman's career in the cold light of day - in many ways his career mirrors Tony Blair's premiership. His game looks nice and pleasant but where's the substance? It's almost a mirage.

Having said all of that I kind of like Henman and enjoyed watching play live over the years at Queens and in Paris.

By the way, just to correct you, Henman won the 3rd set in 6-0 in 18 minutes. They played 3 sets on the Friday and it started to rain. The fourth and some of the fifth set was played on the Saturday and the last moments were played on the Sunday - Henman got broke at the critical stage and Goran served it out, consequently Goran had the choice to play on Monday, which he took and the womens final between Venus and Justine Henin was played on the Sunday.
 

Fearsome Forehand

Professional
It is okay to correct me when I'm wrong. Okay, it was the 3rd set not the 4th. I'll take your word for it. My point was just that when Goran went off, he almost never recovered so it was bad luck for Tim to have the rain set in and allow Goran time to put his troubled mind in order again.

A couple of breaks here and there and Henman could have won Wimby at least once. If he made it to the semis that many times, one would think he would have gotten at least one shot at the basket. But, he never did.

Maybe Tim can wildcard his way to a Wimby title next year like Goran did.
 
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laurie

Guest
It's tough you know, Henman probably had an even bigger opportunity in the semifinal of the French Open in 2004. I was at the quarterfinal when dealt with Chela well. He won the 1st set against Coria in the semi and looked in control, and then lost 14 games in a row and was completely out of control, then still almost took it to a fifth set. Henman was playing really well and had Coria rattled by the start of the 2nd set. The fact he doesn't have a big serve meant he played a smart game.

It's just the way how he lost that semi in 2004 again like 2001 when he seemed in control - just suggests that he didn't have the utter belief and conviction to see a job through to the end.

This is a pity because the argument will always be - well was Henman unlucky or was Henman just not mentally strong enough? I think it's a combination of perhaps those two factors and as I mentioned before, his game was not big enough for an attacker, the ability to end the point with one big shot which helps to demoralise an opponent - Henman just doesn't have those type of facilities.
 

grafrules

Banned
He would have had his best chance to win Wimbledon in 2001 and 2002 when the field was weaker if the grass had not been slowed down. I think he might have had a chance vs Hewitt and an old Ivanisevic on slower grass.
 

jaggy

Talk Tennis Guru
As a Scot the silly red and white flag thing at Wimb. kind of bugged me, well really bugged me, but I did deep down want him to win it so badly, a serve and volleyer with a one handed backhand is so sweet to watch.
 
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laurie

Guest
Did anyone see Henman's match last night against Tursonov?

He did all the things I said he hasn't been doing! He was serving aces left and right - serving serves at 130 mph which I haven't seen since 1999 at Wimbledon. He was volleying beautifully, he was prepared to risks on his second serve by coming in, he was putting the psycholigical pressure on Tursonov by going for his shots.

Why hasn't Henman played like that for the last few years? He's been playing so conservative. What do you guys think?
 

grafrules

Banned
Did anyone see Henman's match last night against Tursonov?

He did all the things I said he hasn't been doing! He was serving aces left and right - serving serves at 130 mph which I haven't seen since 1999 at Wimbledon. He was volleying beautifully, he was prepared to risks on his second serve by coming in, he was putting the psycholigical pressure on Tursonov by going for his shots.

Why hasn't Henman played like that for the last few years? He's been playing so conservative. What do you guys think?
He is quite a bit older now. 32 is very old for pro tennis these days. Some of the greatest players like Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras all said a similar thing. That is that when you get older you still have those great days, but you also have far more days you just cant reach the level you want to or used to.

Also these U.S Open courts are the fastest in the game now that they have turned Wimbledon grass into joke greenish clay. So these are the easiest courts for him to play that way.
 

kissmyace

Rookie
Now its really over, great way to do it though...nice 3 sets of singles and dominated the doubles...the Brits are screwed in the world group now though!;)
 
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