Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Henman Blows It Again; Wimbledon Now the Target for Our Two Beaten Britons

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Henman Blows It Again; Wimbledon Now the Target for Our Two Beaten Britons

Article excerpt

Byline: BARRY NEWCOMBE

TIM HENMAN'S bid for a career-best place in the fourth round of the French Open foundered in a marathon test against the Argentine Guillermo Canas at Stade Roland Garros this afternoon.

For the fourth time in his career Henman was forced to accept defeat in a five-set match on a slow clay court as Canas came through 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in three hours and 26 minutes.

The fifth set turned into a tight duel for victory with neither man conceding an inch of territory over the first 11 games which left Canas 6-5 ahead after dismissing one break point with a punishing serve.

But Henman,serving to stay in the match, gave the Argentine two match points when he missed a smash at 15-30 and Canas hit a winning service return to go through to the last 16.

The word from the dressing room was that many players believed that Henman had more than a chance of taking his challenge into the first weekend. But the one statistic which hung over this match was that Canas had given Henman the worst Grand Slam beating of his career in the first round of the US Open two years ago.

Henman did not dictate the first set but at least he won it after dropping his own serve as early as the fifth game when his first serve and forehand went to pieces.

But he broke back in the eighth game and took Canas' serve in the tenth to gain a precious one-set advantage after 46 minutes.

This was an opportunity for Henman to take command. But he lost his second service game in the second set and could not pull himself back. In the third set Henman fell behind 5-2 and had to save three set points at 5-3 but not once did he seriously threaten Canas.

Finally Henman swung the match in his direction again with a more concentrated display in the fourth set which he captured with a single break of serve in the fourth game. …

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