Tennis: From Telford to Hannover and back again: how Tim Henman went in search of a $100,00 prize

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The Independent Online
Tim Henman had been expecting to finish a low-key week in Telford at the National Tennis Championships until his phone rang at 11.30 on Thursday night.

An injury to Sergi Bruguera left the organisers of the ATP Tour World Championship in Hannover desperately seeking a replacement. Henman agreed to answer the call and what should have been a comparatively quiet end to the week in Shropshire developed into a frantic dash between Britain and Germany.

henman's schedule

23.30 Thursday: Henman, staying in the Telford area for the national championships, receives a phone call inviting him to replace Bruguera in Hannover. He will play only one match, against Yevgeny Kafelnikov, but victory would be worth $100,000 (pounds 60,000) and 80 world ranking points. The ATP will also pay him $10,000 (pounds 6,000) for taking part.

09.30 yesterday: Shortly after arriving by car at the Telford Racquet and Fitness Club, Henman attends a press conference and announces his plans to travel to Hannover.

11.08: Henman starts his Telford quarter-final against Jamie Delgado.

12.02: Henman completes a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Delgado, hitting 18 aces. The win guarantees him pounds 2,200.

12.15: Henman skips post-match press conference and leaves by car for Birmingham airport.

14.00: At his own expense, Henman leaves Birmingham airport on Flight 146 Alpha, a private jet to Hannover.

16.30 (local time): An hour and a half after leaving Birmingham, Henman's jet arrives at Hannover airport.

17.30: Henman arrives at Hall 13 of the Expo 2000 site, venue for the ATP Tour World Championship.

18.00: Henman due to go on court for a warm-up session with his coach, David Felgate.

19.30: Henman due to play Kafelnikov. Then expected to fly back to Birmingham.

Today: Henman is likely to start his Telford semi-final against Danny Sapsford just after midday. Victory in tomorrow's final would earn him the princely sum of pounds 9,000.