Henman optimistic after achievements in Paris

Tim Henman's confidence is high as he seeks a first grass court title in the Stella Artois Championship after his unexpected run at the French Open.

Tim Henman's confidence is high as he seeks a first grass court title in the Stella Artois Championship after his unexpected run at the French Open.

Henman surprised even himself by reaching the semi-finals in Paris, playing some of the best tennis of his career. It means he will have only two weeks to prepare for Wimbledon but the 29-year-old could not be in a better frame of mind.

"I'm very proud of what I achieved in Paris but now I've got to turn my attention to the grass court season," he said. "This is always one of the most enjoyable times of the year for me, playing on grass, getting to stay at home and looking forward to Wimbledon. I feel my game has really come on in the last eight months or so and I'm as confident now in my own ability as I've ever been. I believe I'm the best volleyer in the world, and I think I'm the best athlete at the net so grass courts obviously suit my game. My gameplan now is very much about playing to my strengths and committing to it."

Henman, three times a finalist at Queen's and a semi-finalist 12 months ago, added: "It's the hardest style for me to try to play on clay but I think I've done a pretty good job of it this year and my results have improved as a result. Now I'm excited about continuing that on other surfaces, particularly on the grass, and I can't wait to get out there."

Henman will have to wait until Wednesday to play his first competitive match. As one of the top eight seeds at Queen's he receives a bye into the second round where he will face either Karol Beck or Gilles Elseneer. He could meet Greg Rusedski in the quarter-finals, although Rusedski has won only two games since being cleared of any wrongdoing after a failed drugs test.

Henman is seeded to face his French Open conqueror, Guillermo Coria, again in the semi-finals, but it would be something of a surprise if the Argentinian gets that far. More realistic challengers include the top seed and defending champion, Andy Roddick, whose victory last year marked him down as a contender for Wimbledon. The 21-year-old American will not have an easy passage and could face Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan in the quarter-finals with a potential semi-final against Andre Agassi or the three-times champion Lleyton Hewitt.

Hewitt, the sixth seed, won the title three years in succession between 2000 and 2002 and will be attempting to join John McEnroe and Boris Becker as the only four-time winners. The Australian's run of 17 consecutive victories at Queen's was brought to an end in the quarter-finals last year by Sebastien Grosjean, who went on to beat Henman before losing to Roddick in the final.

Agassi, who has accepted a wild card, will face either the French teenager, Richard Gasquet, or the Russian, Igor Andreev, in the second round. Victory would be his 800th career win on the ATP circuit.

The former Wimbledon champion, Goran Ivanisevic, could face last year's beaten Wimbledon finalist, Mark Philippoussis, in the second round in what would be a repeat of their 1997 Stella Artois final which Philippoussis won in straight sets.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own