Henman may play in Davis Cup

Tennis
Click to follow
Tim Henman, the British No 1, will give his nagging groin injury a thorough test at Wimbledon on Monday to see whether he will be fit to face Egypt in the Davis Cup next week.

The tie, which starts on 20 September, will be the last competitive match on the No 1 Court at Wimbledon before it is demolished.

Henman, who reached the last 16 of the United States Open, was forced to drop out of the Bournemouth International Open this week because of the injury at the top of his left leg, but he made a visit to the West Hants Club yesterday and said: "I would be very disappointed if I were to miss the tie.

"I've been having treatment twice a day since I returned from the US Open - icing, ultra-sound and stretching. I will test it at Wimbledon on Monday, hit a few balls and see how it goes. At the moment I'm very hopeful. I think I will be playing but you are never 100 per cent sure.'

"The injury is just a case of wear and tear after a long season, and the rest should have done it some good. I don't know how much good because for the last week I have not been doing anything, just visiting family and friends."

David Lloyd, the team captain, announced yesterday that if Henman is fit, the team would be Henman, Greg Rusedski, Mark Petchey and Neil Broad. The recall of Rusedski would then be the only change to the team who beat Ghana 5-0 in Accra in the last round. The Canadian-born left-hander was injured for that tie and was replaced by Luke Milligan.

The big surprise at Bournemouth yesterday came when the 18-year-old Argentinian Mariano Zabaleta beat the second seed, Felix Mantilla of Spain, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.

The Centre Court match lasted for two hours and 13 minutes, and Zabaleta, the world junior champion, showed outstanding courage in beating an opponent ranked No 16 in the world.

Zabaleta won the opening set of a long baseline duel, then broke the Spaniard in the first game of the second set. But then the wheels came off and Mantilla won nine of the next 10 games to lead 3-0 in the third.

The young Argentinian, who has climbed from No 380 in the world rankings to No 125 in the last nine months, looked down and out but battled back to win five of the last six games.

Zabaleta had a bit of luck when Mantilla led 4-3 and reached break point on his rival's serve in the following game. Here Mantilla had a forehand drive called out - which would have given the Spaniard a 5-3 lead - only for the umpire to over-rule the call.

Rusedski and Danny Sapsford, Britain's last two survivors in the singles, are not due to play their second-round matches until today.

Comments