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2004 Mar 21 - Henman prepares for Federer

Tim Henman is philosophical over his chances of causing an upset to take the Pacific Life Open title away from Roger Federer despite defeating the Swiss ace in six out of seven previous contests. Tim said:

"I've got a good record against him but he's world number one.

"I think his world ranking pretty much says it all. He's won the Australian Open this year, and he's certainly played better than anyone."

Court conditions are sure to play a part in the outcome of the match, and both players have admitted the slower surface at Indian Wells will favour the Swiss. Roger commented:

"The surfaces in Rotterdam and Paris suit him better than me. In Rotterdam, I never found a rhythm. There were a lot of bad bounces. Also he played incredible tennis.

"Obviously, this surface is a little slower, which allows him to have a better look at the return, but also for me it's easier maybe to return his serve."

Since winning the Paris Masters in 2003 - which coincided with the recruitment of Paul Annacone as Tim's part-time coach - he is feeling confident about the future. Tim added:

"In the last five or six tournaments, I think just the way I'm playing, the style I'm playing, and the level that I'm playing, it's probably been the best.

"I've probably stated on a number of occasions over the years, I felt like I was going to play my best tennis later on than most.

"It's come about in slightly unusual circumstances, given my shoulder injury. But, it's definitely exciting for me.

"There's no reason why I can't keep playing like this, improve on this, get better and better over the next three or four years."


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