posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:54 PM
Tim Henman's credentials as a possible Wimbledon champion took a battering after he
scraped past debutant Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.The British number one was tentative from the outset as Ramirez dominated the first set from the
And Henman was in desperate trouble when Ramirez held two points for a two-set lead before nerves finally struck the Spaniard.
Ramirez Hidalgo had never set foot on a grass court until two days ago but took the opening set of the first round clash 6-4 against the four-time
The 26-year-old from Alicante, without a win in any Grand Slam event, was then only denied taking the second set tie-break by a fortunate Henman
return which hit the line, before the British number one levelled the match.
Henman then took the next two sets 6-4 6-2 to complete a nerve-wracking victory in two minutes over three hours, but will need a massive improvement
if he is to have any chance of claiming the coveted title on July 4.
It was a far from convincing performance from Henman against a player who has won just five matches all year, and had never previously played on
For all the pre-tournament talk of a new "relaxed" Henman, the Briton was soon berating himself on the changeovers as Ramirez played well above his
world ranking of 89.