Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Will Prove the Critics Wrong, Insists Henman; Former British No1 Dismayed by Flak for His Successor and Tips Him to Win Grand Slam Title. by Chris Jones

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Will Prove the Critics Wrong, Insists Henman; Former British No1 Dismayed by Flak for His Successor and Tips Him to Win Grand Slam Title. by Chris Jones

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

TIM HENMAN today mounted a vigorous defence of Andy Murray, calling for critics to start appreciating how far the British No1 has already come and insists an elusive first Grand Slam title will be claimed.

Henman endured years of intense scrutiny when he was Britain's leading player and was only widely accorded the respect his achievements deserved when he retired three years ago with 15 titles and six Grand Slam semi-final appearances.

Henman points to the six prestigious ATP Masters crowns and 16 tournament titles Murray has collected since turning professional in 2005 along with those two Slam final appearances at the 2008 US Open and this year's Australian Open, to prove his case.

Having reached world No2 in August last year, Murray is now No4 -- the highest Henman reached during his career. The 36-year-old said: "Andy has had a great year and there are only three people ahead of him, including Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, two of the greatest in tennis history.

"This is where the tennis community can be too quick to lose perspective and need to take a step back. This year, Andy won two Masters events and lost in his second Slam final to Roger, the best player that has ever lived.

"Looking at next year, it's all about Andy's game style and maybe it is easier when he plays Rafa because he knows if he isn't aggressive then Rafa will hit him off court. To beat those top guys, he has to produce that kind of tennis day in, day out against the lesser players so that it becomes more of a habit. He will win a Slam because we have seen that when he gets it right, even with Roger and Rafa making it probably the toughest era, he can win one of the big ones.

"In the grand scheme of things Andy is doing really well. Rafa is another example where people got it wrong with so many saying he was finished this time last year -- what a load of rubbish that was. He was No2 coming into this year and won three Slams."

Henman is back on court at the AEGON Masters in the Albert Hall this week displaying the skills that would still make him the British No2 if the 36-year-old wanted to return to the full time tour. …

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