Tim Henman
Tim Henman
Tim Henman
Tim Henman
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  • Personal
  • Timothy Henry Henman began playing tennis aged 2 1/2 with his parents Anthony, a solicitor, and Jane, a dress designer and former junior Wimbledon competitor, along with two older brothers, Michael and Richard, on the family's grass-court. He had decided on a tennis playing career aged six. His grandfather Henry Billington competed at Wimbledon, reaching the third round in 1948, 1950-51 and represented Great Britain in Davis Cup ties in 1948, 1950-51. His grandmother Susan Billington also competed at Wimbledon, advancing to the third round of the ladies doubles in 1951, 1955-56. His great grandmother, Ellen Stanwell-Brown, was first lady to serve over-arm at Wimbledon in 1901.

    The former long-time British No. 1 was a serve-volley exponent on the major stage between 1996 and 2007, winning 11 ATP singles titles from 28 finals and four ATP doubles titles from six finals. He attained a career-high No. 4 singles ranking (8 July 2002) and a doubles career-high of No. 63 (21 February 2000). At Wimbledon, where Henman carried the weight of British expectation for a decade (43-14 record) and Aorangi Terrace unofficially became known as 'Henman Hill', he advanced to four semi-finals (1998-99, 2001-02) and four quarter-finals (1996-97, 2003-04). In July 2001, he came within two points of becoming first Briton to reach Wimbledon final since 1938 but lost a five-set marathon encounter to eventual champion Goran Ivanisevic in a match that was played over three days. Henman led Ivanisevic 2-1 in sets and was 5-all in fourth set tie-break but lost next two points and fell 6-3 in fifth set. As of July 2009, he is one of nine different British men to have contested a Wimbledon semi-final since the abolishment of the Challenge Round in 1922.

    In 2004, he became the first British man to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals (l. to Coria) since Mike Sangster in 1963 (l. to Emerson) and by reaching the US Open he was the first Briton to reach the semi-finals since Greg Rusedski in 1997 (l. to Rafter in final). His career-best performances at the Australian Open were fourth round exits in 2000-02. He is also one of five British players to have reached the Queen’s Club final (1999, 2000-01) in the Open Era… He captured his only ATP Masters singles title at 2003 Paris, dropping one set in six matches. He posted wins over four straight Top 20 opponents — No. 11 Grosjean (2nd), No. 17 Kuerten (3rd), No. 3 Federer (QF) and No. 2 Roddick (SF) and Pavel (F). He had a 1-3 record in ATP Masters singles finals. He compiled a 1-15 career record against World No. 1 players, with his lone win come at the 2004 Rotterdam quarter-finals over Roger Federer 6-3, 7-6(9), and a 38-58 overall record against Top 10 opponents. Henman made his Davis Cup debut for Great Britain against Romania at Manchester in July 1994 and was a leading figure in 21 ties from 1994-2004 and 2006, compiling a 40-14 career record (29-8 in singles)... He won a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with Neil Broad (l. to Woodbridge-Woodforde in final).

    On 7 July 2004, he was awarded 'Officer of Order of British Empire' [OBE] for service to tennis by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. As a youth, Henman played football (supports Oxford United Football Club), hockey, cricket, rugby and golf… Educated at Dragon School, Oxford, and Reed's School, Cobham, Henman was a member of David Lloyd Slater Squad from the ages of 10-17. He won singles and doubles titles at the 1992 British National Junior Championships and turned professional, but broke his leg in three places in September 1993… In April 1994, he qualified for his first ATP event at Tokyo Outdoors (first win: Kelly Jones), reaching the third round (l. to Sampras). In June 1995 he won his first Grand Slam match at Wimbledon (d. Wekesa), before losing to Pete Sampras in the second round… In 1996, Henman won his first ATP titles at Sydney (d. Moya) and Tashkent (d. Rosset) and was subsequently nameed the 'Most Improved Player' award by the ATP. The following year missed two months of the season due to right elbow surgery on 25 March. In 1998 he qualified for the ATP World Championship, reaching the semi-finals (l. to Moya), and finished in the Top 10 for the first time at No. 7. Due to right shoulder injury on 14 November 2002, Henman was forced to withdraw from 2003 Australian Open, breaking a streak of 30 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments played. In 2004 he surpassed $1 million in prize money for the sixth time in seven years. In 2005 he finished out of the Top 20 for the first time since 1996 and his eight year streak of having reached at least one ATP final also came to an end… By June 2006 shoulder and back injuries began to take their toll on his top-flight playing career.

    At different times in his career, Henman was coached by David Lloyd, David Felgate (1992-2001, who was also best man at Henman's wedding), Larry Stefanki (2001-03) and Paul Annacone (2003-07). He was a member of the 1997-98 ATP Player Council, served as ATP Charities Chairman in 2000 and for his personal charity Kids at Heart. He also donated £100 for every ace during 2000 and fired a career-high 537 aces. In 2001, he donated $735 for every match win during season (he won 51 matches). He also auctioned off a match to highest bidder with himself at Centre Court, Wimbledon, in 2002, which sold for £25,000. Henman announced his retirement at a media conference on 23 August 2007 and retired after helping Great Britain beat Croatia 4-1 in a Davis Cup World Group play-off on Court One at Wimbledon on 22 September 2007. Since then, Henman has since whittled his golf handicap down from three to scratch and taken up skiing. In May 2009, he joined Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters at Wimbledon as the first players to test the new Centre Court roof, which was first used at The Championships in June 2009. He has worked as a BBC TV commentator at Wimbledon (2008-present) and at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London (2009-present). In December 2010, he made his ATP Champions Tour debut in London.

    Henman married his long-term girlfriend Lucy Heald, a former TV producer, at All Saints Church, Odiham, Hampshire. The couple have three daughters, Rose Elizabeth, Olivia and Grace.

    Bio: James Buddell


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