Tennis: Henman set for Olympia doubles

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TIM HENMAN, still battling to win a place at the ATP Championship at Hanover later this month, will make a rare appearance in London on 3 December, when he plays in a exhibition doubles match at Olympia. The British No 1 will partner the Iranian Mansour Bahrami against a pair still to be named.

Last year, when the Honda Challenge was held at the Albert Hall, Henman, with his coach David Felgate, won a special doubles event by beating the former British No 1 Jeremy Bates and the 42-year-old Bahrami, a trick- shot specialist, in the final.

The event will be staged from 3 to 6 December and the senior singles has an eight-man field, containing two groups of four, with the most eagerly awaited match probably between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg on 5 December.

If Henman can beat Wayne Ferreira to earn a place in the third round of the Stockholm Open he will gain automatic entry into the ATP event in Hanover where he will join Karol Kucera, who qualified on Monday but was brought down to earth with a bump in Sweden last night.

The No 2 seed from Slovakia lost in straight sets 7-6, 7-6, to Australian qualifier Wayne Arthurs, ranked 168 in the world. "I played well in the qualifiers and I had made a strict plan with my coach Brent Larkham," he said. "I had nothing to lose. No one expected me to win."