Henman: 'There are times when distractions go on for too long'

 

He does not go along with Virginia Wade's recent description of Andy Murray as "a drama queen", but Tim Henman believes the Scot needs to "remain focused and not get distracted" when things are not going his way.

Having had his own share of back problems, Henman sympathises with Murray's recent physical difficulties, which were most apparent at the French Open when the world No 4 had on-court treatment and was struggling with his movement. "Andy was quite right when he said he wasn't doing it for anybody's benefit," Henman said. "He was obviously in bad shape."

Henman is hoping Murray will be back to full fitness over the next fortnight. "He's got such an enormous challenge competing against Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. That is unbelievably hard even when you're 100 per cent healthy. So if he's only 90 per cent I think that would make that challenge impossible."

Earlier in the year Henman was impressed by what he saw during Murray's run to the Australian Open semi-finals. "I really felt that the way he was dealing with adversity was improving," he said. "I've always said that's the biggest challenge. When he's playing well he can beat anyone, but it's when things aren't going quite so well that he has to dig in, keep his head down, remain focused and not get distracted.

"I think in Australia it was very good. It was difficult during the clay-court season. When you've got other issues going on it's quite difficult to judge. I think the grass will help him. The surface is softer, the ball doesn't bounce so high and the rallies aren't quite so long."

He added: "When you're frustrated and things aren't going your way is the time when it's easier to be distracted. [John] McEnroe was probably the best at that because he would go bananas and shout and scream, but then 99 times out of 100 he would play an even better point next. There are times when I think the distractions that Murray has go on for too long."

Henman believes Murray can benefit from playing an attacking game on grass. "There's a balance between proactive and reactive," he said. "I think grass is probably the hardest surface to defend on, so the needle of the speedometer should definitely be on the attack."

Although Henman lost in four semi-finals at Wimbledon, he always retained belief that he could win the tournament. "I can remember every year going into the tournament and feeling a far better player and more excited about my chances," he said.

"I always had 100 per cent belief and expectation that I could win the tournament. And Andy's in that period right now. He's been in the semis the last three years. His grass-court results have been fantastic, so I expect no difference."

Can Ivan Lendl, Murray's coach, help him across the finish line? "Definitely. That's where I think it's fantastic to have Lendl in his camp. He's got so many valuable experiences and an unbelievable knowledge of the game. I think that's definitely where he's going to have a positive impact."

Tim Henman is an ambassador for HSBC, Official Banking Partner to the Wimbledon Championships, www.wimbledon.com/hsbc

Suggested Topics
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.

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