It's just occured to me that Henman really may be on the verge of a decline: He has a STACKLOAD of points to defend between now and after Roland Garros. A good showing at the AO would really have eased this pressure. He already lost some points by withdrawing from Doha at the begninng of the year, and following this he must defend some finalist points from Rotterdam and more finalist points ( A LOT OF POINTS) from Indian Wells, where he lost to Federer in straights last year. He never does well at Miami because the conditions are too similar to the AO; too slow for Tim, too high a bounce.
Henman had a remarkable clay court season last year, which means that he must defend QF points in Monte Carlo and SF points from RG (another stackload).
Can anyone see him even defending half of these points successfully
l? I can't.
Unless he really pulls something out the bag, he may well be out of the top 20 by the end of the year.
Here in Britain, many journalists have pointed to inadequate preperation as the reason for his thrashing at the hands of the Russian journeyman, Davydenko (Is journeyman a bit harsh?). While Agassi was bench pressing and, along with Federer, acclimatising to the hot conditions in Australia, Henman arrived only a few days before Kooyong, complaining of 'a stiff back' from the flight, which was preceeded by some hitting practice with an assortment of crap British players indoors in London.
You only have to look at Henman's skinny frame to realise that his physical preperation is not as intense as some of the other top 10 players. Although I do have a theory that he is incapable of building muscle.
In the UK, many observers have ripped in to Tim about the substandard performance against Davydenko. One particularly harsh news report began with the words, 'And Tim Henman has disgraced himself once again......'.