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Wimbledon holy grail all but over for Henman: British press
Agence France-Presse, PTI
London, July 04, 2003
First Published: 11:20 IST(4/7/2003)
Last Updated: 11:22 IST(4/7/2003)
Like the player himself, Britain's press was in no doubt on Friday that Tim Henman may never have a better chance of winning Wimbledon after being dumped out of this year's competition at the quarter-final stage.

"Extiminated", screamed the punning headline splashed across the back page of The Sun, Britain's most unforgiving tabloid.

"32-minute massacre," headlined an accompanying report of the match, in reference to the time it took France's Sebastien Grosjean to finish off the British number one after the tie had been carried over from the day before due to rain.

The Sun also took a swipe at Henman in its editorial.

"As usual now we know summer's really here. It's raining. And Tim Henman's out of Wimbledon. Some things never change," it said.

The Daily Mail chipped in too.

"It was his best chance ever... but this was the moment Tim knew he may never win Wimbledon," said a headline alongside a photo of a thoroughly fed-up Henman.

There was little forgiveness even among some of the broadsheets.

"Henman blows last chance", howled The Guardian -- its Wimbledon correspondent, Stephen Bierly, writing that the Briton's defeat "emphasised just how much his grass-court game has diminished over the past two years, while those younger than him grow ever stronger."

Only The Daily Telegraph was in forgiving mood.

"Beaten Henman deserves a break," said its headline, the paper arguing that he "should not be blamed if his best is not quite enough".

And with a air of optimism, it had the following front page message for the player's wife:

"Cheer up, Lucy, there's always next year," said a headline next to a photo of a pained Mrs Henman.

The paper also had kind words for the French victor.

"The truth, though, is that Grosjean's best tennis was better than Henman's few purple patches," said chief sports writer Paul Hayward.

Following his defeat, Henman was asked whether the best chance at landing his home tournament had been lost. "Maybe," was his curt reply before adding:

"I think my chances are getting less -- but it still won't stop me coming back and trying. If you don't believe in yourself you've got no shot."


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