Tim Henman transformed himself from pussy cat to Tiger on Centre Court here yesterday afternoon to march into today's quarter-finals by seeing off the American Todd Martin in five sets, 6-7, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. He now meets Roger Federer of Switzerland, the conqueror of Pete Sampras, in the last eight.
Henman's match had been halted due to poor light on Monday evening with the British No 1 trailing by two sets to one. Although he was a gracious loser, Martin questioned whether the All England Club might not be able to better utilise the hours of sunlight available to them to stop such interruptions occurring. Henman described the postponement as "not an ideal situation", although he was evidently gleeful to move within three wins of becoming the first British men's singles champion in SW19 since Fred Perry in 1936.
"I just knew I had to go for it," Henman said. "There were certain aspects of my game that I felt I could adjust a little bit. The whole game plan ended up working out well." Asked if he would have won if the game had been played to a conclusion on Monday, he said: "Who knows? We'll never know that. But I still felt I had a good chance. I think it was obviously very close. There certainly weren't too many chances flying around. But certainly what momentum there was at that stage was with Todd."
Martin said that the result had reflected both players' input over the two days. He did, however, then say the match should never have been held over to another day. "Regardless of our match, I just find it a little bit distressing that there's 17 hours of daylight here, on a beautiful day like yesterday, and we can't get three matches in."Reuse content