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2005 May 12 - Henman loses focus in Hamburg

Tim Henman crashed 6-3 4-6 2-6 to Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela in the third round of the Tennis Masters Hamburg in Germany.

In the first set a single break of serve and a solid all-round display put Tim in the drivers seat as he claimed the opening set.

Tim commented after his exit to Slovakian Dominic Hrbaty in the Tennis Master Rome last week that momentum on clay can change quickly, and it did again today.

On serve at 3-2 in the second set Juan Ignacio snatched a break point to lead 4-2. Tim instantly recovered the break to level 4-4 only to lose his composure when a second serve ace by the Argentine was deemed on the line by the umpire. Tim was incensed by the decision and claimed the umpire was looking at the wrong mark. Juan Ignacio then went on to hold his serve and break Tim and take the set.

The third set was about whether Tim could compose himself and battle on, but he was quickly trailing 1-5 and held one more serve for 2-5 before the Argentine served out the match.

It was perhaps significant that Tim decided not to shake the umpire's hand at the end of the match - and prefered to offer a wave instead - when in a press conference later he said:

"What can you do about that?

"It was a critical time. On clay there is an art to picking up the marks and it seems he (the umpire) hasn't got it.

"It happens, and it didn't improve my mood, but Chela also played a part in it.

"He became more aggressive, dictated the rallies in the third set, and when I am pushed back there is not much I can do."


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