Tim Henman's chance to end his outstanding year on a highly profitable note was confirmed yesterday after withdrawals freed him a place in the 16-man Grand Slam Cup that begins in Munich tomorrow.
Michael Stich, of Germany, will be Henman's first-round opponent in a knock-out event that brings together the men with the best records from the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, and offers huge prize money.
Even if the 22-year-old Henman loses to Stich (the two have never met) he will have $100,000 (pounds 60,000) to add to the $250,000 that he has already earned this year. The winner receives $1.5m, more than twice as much as goes to the champion at the French Open, the most lucrative of the Grand Slams. If Henman beats Stich, he will play MaliVai Washington or Richard Krajicek, whose first-round tie is a repeat of this year's Wimbledon final which Krajicek won in straight sets.
Henman, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals and the last 16 of the US Open, began at No 20 on the list of Grand Slam achievers but moved up to 18 when Stefan Edberg and Thomas Muster pulled out. Todd Martin withdrew on Friday, followed by Pete Sampras and Michael Chang.
"It will be good to be back among the big boys," Henman's coach, David Felgate, said. "The money will be nice, but it's more the experience."Reuse content