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Paper Tiger

by | 25th, June 2003

‘EVER the showman, Tim Henman delighted his legion of suburban fans on Henman Hill with his 6-2, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 victory over the lesser talents of Tomas Zib.

Tim crushes a fly with his bare hand

Surely the papers will be full of how Grrreat Tim is and how he put the roar back into tennis.

But none if it. The Guardian says that, if this is to be Henman’s year of triumph, he ”could hardly have made a worse botch of it”.

The paper even senses that the overriding feeling among his fans was of relief and not joy. Nor a typical hot flush.

The Independent continues the theme, announcing by way of a headline that ”Henman survives a battle against uncertainty”.

But Henman is certain of one thing. ”The bottom line is I haven’t been good enough,” he says.

That’s a candid assessment of the reasons why he has not been Wimbledon champion. But the signs are that he’s not getting better and is now battling age and a sore shoulder as well as some of the world’s best talents.

But British tennis is not all about Tim Henman. Really, it is not. It is about middle-class values, belonging to a club and Jamie Delgado, the man in the Telegraph’s eye.

The paper watches as the man who was once Britain’s best young prospect takes a set off the great Andre Agassi. And he must be delighted. After all, the paper hears him enthusing about just being there.

”Oh, it’s unbelievable,” said Jamie before his defeat, ”just what you always dream of. It’s as good as your wildest dreams.”

If tennis dreams are made of just being there, what do wild tennis dreams consist of – being there naked save for a well-placed strawberry?

And talking of also-rans, the Times says that Tottenham Hotspur are set to sign a player.

News is that Spurs are inching towards a £8.3 million deal for Helder Postiga, the Porto and Portugal forward.

These are heady times indeed at The Lane…



Posted: 25th, June 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink