Henman puts back injury behind him to progress

Survival of the fittest would be one way to describe Tim Henman's second-round win against Jérôme Golmard, of France, at the US Open yesterday. Except Golmard is rarely fit.

Survival of the fittest would be one way to describe Tim Henman's second-round win against Jérôme Golmard, of France, at the US Open yesterday. Except Golmard is rarely fit.

Henman may have come into the tournament with a dodgy lower back, but Golmard, a qualifier, clearly out-winced him for the two hours and 45 minutes it took the British No 1 to win, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.

Known in France as the player who has everything - bad back, bad shoulder, bad elbow, bad knee - the 30-year-old Golmard has retired hurt during matches 11 times in his career. At least this time he stayed on his feet to the end and gave the fifth-seeded Henman plenty to worry about on Grandstand Court.

Henman, having worked his way through five sets against Ivo Karlovic, the giant Croatian, in the first round, and nursed his back for the challenge of Golmard, next plays Michal Tabara, a Czech qualifier, who wore down Mardy Fish, America's silver medalist in Athens, 6-3, 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

It was surprising that Henman took so long to overcome Golmard, given the way the match started. The Oxfordshire man broke for 2-1 in the opening set, with a backhand volley to the corner of the court, and two aces helped him hold for 3-1.

Golmard, looking somewhat bemused at the speed with which events were turning in his opponent's favour, double-faulted twice in the seventh game to lose his serve a second time, and Henman served out the set after 26 minutes.

A sense of anticipation among Henman's supporters after he broke for 2-1 in the second set with a service return waned when Golmard immediately broke back, Henman hitting a backhand long.

The Frenchman saved a break point at 2-2, but Henman continued to attack and converted an opportunity at 4-4, his solid drive causing the incoming Golmard to net a backhand volley from close range. Henman was taken to deuce when serving at 5-4, but an ace and an unreturnable serve gave him the set with the match 65 minutes old.

Henman also dominated the opening games of the third set, but was unable to convert a break point at 1-1 and two more at 2-2. Golmard may have been let down by inconsistency, but there were moments when he produced breathtaking shots, and the time had come for him to make more of them count.

He broke for 4-2, and though Henman prevented him from serving out the set at 5-3, the Briton lost his serve again at 5-4, beaten on set point by a Golmard forehand down the line that clipped the net cord en route.

The action switched next to the healing fingers of Bill Norris, the ATP trainer, who was called by Golmard to massage his lower back. Norris returned to check on Golmard's condition - but by this time the Frenchman was leading, 3-0, in the fourth set.

Having saved a break point in the opening game, Golmard out-manoeuvred his opponent in the second, Henman hitting a backhand volley wide on break point. Golmard promptly held to love, with two aces.

Henman broke back to love at 3-1, Golmard netting a backhand, and the set went with serve to the tie-break. Henman managed a sprint finish, winning the shoot-out, 7-1.

Andre Agassi, the American sixth seed, was the beneficiary of a retirement by Florian Mayer, of Germany, after the opening game of the fourth set of their second-round match.

Both French Open singles champions were defeated. Gaston Gaudio lost to Thomas Johansson, of Sweden, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Anastasia Myskina was beaten 7-6, 6-3, by her Russian compatriot Anna Chakvetadze, a qualifier.

Myskina was the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title, and her success rubbed off on Maria Sharapova, who took the Wimbledon crown.

Justine Henin-Hardenne, the defending champion, was in wayward form yesterday against Tzipora Obziler, of Israel, at 31 the oldest player in the women's singles. Broken when serving for the second set at 5-4, Henin lost the set and was also broken when leading 4-1 in the final set. She prevailed 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to enter the third round.

The progress of Lindsay Davenport to the third round was problem-free until the American fifth seed came to serve out her match against Arantxa Parra Santonja, of Spain, at 5-0 in the second set. Davenport double-faulted twice in losing serve and then had to save two break points in the final game before winning, 6-4, 6-2.

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
and  

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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence