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2004 May 24 - R.Garros: Henman defeats Saulnier

Tim Henman defeated Frenchman Cyril Saulnier in the first round of Roland Garros in Paris 4-6 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 6-3.

This was only the second time Tim has fought back from two sets down and been the victor at the end. In a match lasting nearly four hours it was a battle of stamina and self belief.

In the first set the Frenchman snatched a single break of serve which was enough to see out the set. Cyril continued to play above himself and took the second set in exactly the same manner. At this point it felt the match was slipping away from the British No.1 but he forced a tie-break in the third set - and despite having a poor record this year - it was Tim who held his nerve for 7-2. Cyril who was now on the ropes and Tim started to flow, breaking serve twice forth set to level the match at 2-2. In the fifth set Tim lost his first service game but always seemed in control of the match, breaking the Frenchman twice, to book his place in the second round.

After the match Tim said:

"It's still a bit of a struggle.

"But if I can play for four hours and come back from two sets then I've got to be positive.

"Mentally in the first two sets I was getting pretty frustrated that I felt the way I did.

"But I was just penalising myself. At the beginning of the third set I decided to just get on with it and accept the cards I was dealt and keep fighting.

"In the end I won on determination and guts. It's a good achievement in this match and hopefully I can feel better for my next match."

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