Henman hits back after flak

The eyes were on Felix Mantilla beating his Spanish compatriot Carlos Moya in the final of the Samsung Open at the West Hants Club yesterday here. The mind wandered 3,250 miles east to Tashkent, where Tim Henman was in the process of winning the President's Cup, his second title of the year.

Henman, who elected to forsake the slow clay courts of Bournemouth for the medium-paced concrete of Uzbekistan, defeated Marc Rosset, the 1992 Olympic champion, 7-6, 6-4.

"Not wishing to gloat," David Felgate, Henman's coach said, "but Tim did take a bit of flak for coming here instead of playing in Bournemouth. Would he have won the title there against proven clay-courters like Mantilla and Moya?''

It was Henman's fourth final of the year. He defeated Moya in Sydney in January, having lost to Jim Courier in Qatar along the way, and was beaten by Rosset in Antwerp in February.

"Once I settled down I got in a rhythm, and mentally I was a lot stronger than when I played him in Antwerp," Henman said. "Even if I'd lost in the first round and played badly I still think I was right not to play at Bournemouth. I don't think I would have won a tournament on clay at this time of the year.''

In spite of his success yesterday, Henman will stay at No 20 in the world as a consequence of Albert Costa's victory at the Marbella Open, which safeguarded the ranking points the Spaniard won at Bournemouth last year.

Henman, who won pounds 35,000, recovered from 2-0 down in the opening set and clinched the tie-break, 7-2, winning the last five points in a row. He broke Rosset for 3-2 in the second set, after which there was little chance that the tall, big-serving Swiss would extend the contest beyond two sets.

Brits on Tour has ceased to be a jocular aside on the tennis circuit. We arrived on the south coast of England from New York, where Greg Rusedski played in the final of the United States Open last Sunday, to witness the Canadian-born British No 1 crack the world's top 10 here.

As Henman said yesterday, "We're on the up. Greg had a great two weeks at the US Open and another at Bournemouth. Now I have gone out and won a tournament. We're vying with each other.

"It doesn't depress me that my ranking hasn't improved. The important thing is that I have won another title. There are now points in the bank, and I will go up again in the next couple of weeks.

"Greg's top at the moment, but I'm aiming to overtake him soon. With the indoor season coming up, which is a good time for both of us, things are very positive.''

Rusedski's campaign was ended by Moya in Saturday's semi-finals, 6-2, 6-2. Moya, the No 1 seed, lost by the same score against Mantilla, the No 2 seed.

The third-seeded Rusedski said: "I was down to empty, mentally and physically. I hit the wall, as they say. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Carlos Moya is an excellent clay court player. If you're not 100 per cent sharp when you play him on a slow clay court, you're not going to have a chance. Even if I was fresh, it would have been a difficult match for me.''

What had he learned from the past three weeks? "I think competing is a big part. Even though I lost 6-2, 6-2 here, I still didn't give up in the match. I tried to find a way back, but Carlos was too good.

"I still have to work on things, there's no question. Once I do all that work, and keep on working, I think I can keep on rising higher and higher. That's the key to tennis really, just day in, day out work. I mean, when Lendl was No 1, he kept on working. He worked on his topspin backhand, he worked on his volley, he worked on his serve.''

Rusedski's backhand has improved immensely. "It still needs work. Some days it's very good and other days it's average, and some days it's below average.''

Is he likely to be taken by surprise finding himself on a fast indoor carpet court after the slow clay here and the medium-paced concrete at Flushing Meadow?

"No, that's going to be nice. I don't think I'll have a surprise when I hit an ace and it doesn't come back with a slice. I think I'll be pleased. Going into quick, indoor surfaces is going to be very good.

"It's a different mental demand on you, because it's quick points, and you have to make a passing shot here or there to a match, while on clay it's a mental mindset where you're going to have to get used to hitting five or six balls to set up the point to come into the net.''

His immediate plans? "I'm going to go to bed for a day and a half, celebrate for a day and a half, go to bed for a day and a half, then get ready for the Grand Slam Cup."

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
News
Ethical matters: pupils during a philosophy lesson
educationTaunton School's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Senior Infrastructure Consultant

£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...

Public Sector Audit - Bristol

£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal