Henman back in the groove with taming of wild card

Henman, whose lower back problem was aggravated during his straight-sets loss to Fernando Verdasco, of Spain, at Flushing Meadows, New York, has recently spoken ominously about his future as a top-level player.

Dupuis, ranked No 118 in the world, had not taken a set off Henman in their three previous matches and seemed an ideal opponent for the Briton's comeback as a wild card to the tournament he won in 2000.

Henman, ranked No 27, took the opening set with a break in the 11th game, only to lose his own serve at the start of the second set. He responded with two breaks to win his first match since defeating Nicolas Massu, of Chile, at the Cincinnati Masters in August.

"I've been working hard back home and putting in a lot of time on the court and in the gym, but when you step out on the court it is the next level," Henman said.

"Not only was I really pleased with the way I played, I was more interested in how I would feel physically and I feel I came through very, very well. I didn't feel anything. There were no aches and pains, no twinges. The next 24 hours is important, but I do feel confident that I'll react OK.

"I wanted to be very meticulous and disciplined with my service games, and I think I did a very good job. I got a break out of nothing, then the first game of the second set was a lapse in concentration more than anything. But I do like the way I responded from that."

Tomorrow, Henman will play the winner of this afternoon's match between Luis Horna, of Peru, and the Czech Radek Stepanek. Horna won his only previous match against Henman, on clay in the second round at the French Open in June. Henman has won his four previous matches against Stepanek, the most recent having taken place in Key Biscayne, Florida, in March.

Maria Sharapova, the women's world No 1, said at a press conference before the start of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow yesterday that she wanted to play Fed Cup for Russia one day.

"I want to play for Russia," the 18-year-old from Siberia said. "I just don't know when I'll be ready to make my Fed Cup debut."

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen