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2004 Jun 04 - R.Garros: Henman out in semi-final

Tim Henman crashed 6-3 4-6 0-6 5-7 to Argentine Guillermo Coria in the semi-finals of Roland Garros. Despite rushing to a 6-3 4-2 lead, Tim lost the next 13 consecutive games, then won the next 5 consecutive games before being outplayed at the end of the forth set.

Set 1 : A tentative start by both players but it was Guillermo who made an early break for 2-1 only for Tim to break back immediately for 2-2. The next three games went with serve before Tim broke the Argentine again to take a 5-3 lead and served out the set 6-3.

Set 2 : Tim starts well and proceeds to break serve in the third game of the set to take a well deserved 2-1 lead which he consolidates for 3-1. Tim was looking comfortable for the set but in the eighth game Guillermo earned himself break points which he took to level at 4-4 and consolidated for 4-5. Tim was serving to stay in the set but the errors crept in and handed the set to Guillermo 4-6.

Set 3 : The momentum was now with the Argentine and he made it count by crushing Tim in a donut set 0-6.

Set 4 : Guillermo ran up a 0-3 lead in the forth set which meant he had now won 13 consecutive games. Just when you thought Tim was finished he proceeded to hold serve and break the Argentine twice as he took the next 5 consecutive games to lead 5-3. Guillermo holds for 5-4 but then disaster struck as Tim's volleying ability went AWOL at the wrong moment enabling Guillermo to level at 5-5 and hold serve for 5-6. Tim was serving to force a tie-break but the Argentine earned two match points before finally taking the second one to win 5-7.

After the match Tim said:

"I had never been past the third round before, so to get to the semis is something to be proud of.

"For a set and a half I made the best claycourt player in the world look pretty ordinary.

"It's been a massive two weeks for me, a big breakthrough in terms of my Grand Slam career outside of Wimbledon.

"It's a fine line between being aggressive and consistent.

"My level dropped and it gave him the chance to raise his. When you have lost a run of games like I did, it's hard to take risks.

"The bottom line was I wasn't good enough to do it for the amount of time that was necessary.

"I believe I'm the best volleyer in the world, and I think I'm the best athlete at the net.

"It's about playing to your strengths and committing to it.

"It's the hardest style for me to try to play on clay but I think I've done a pretty good job at it. I'm excited about continuing that on other surfaces."

Regardless of the result this run at Roland Garros has made British tennis history as Tim has become the first player since Mike Sangster in 1963 to reach the semi-finals of Roland Garros.

You can follow Tim's pre-Wimbledon progress on TV as he competes in the Stella Artois Championships event at Queen's Club in London starting on Monday 7th June.

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