Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tim Henman, OBE (born September 6, 1974 in Oxford, England) is the first British tennis player since Roger Taylor in the 1970s to reach the semi-finals of the Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship, and is regarded by his fans (whose devotion is known as "Henmania") as the UK's only hope of winning the tournament, a feat last achieved by Fred Perry in 1936.
Henman comes from a sporting family: his father was adept at various sports, including tennis. His grandfather and great-grandfather also competed at Wimbledon. Henman supports Oxford United Football Club and is a keen golfer.
Between the ages of 10 and 17 he was a member of the David Lloyd Slater Squad, where he trained alongside a number of other young British tennis hopefuls.
While still at school, Henman was diagnosed with Osteochondritis , a bone disease. However, he kept playing tennis, and in 1992 won the National Junior titles in singles and doubles, deciding to join the professional tour in 1993.
He climbed up the ranks very quickly: in 1994, he was among the top 200 players in the world; by 1995, among the top 100; and by 1996, he had made it into the top 30. He was the UK's highest ranked player that year, and won the Most Improved Player trophy at the ATP awards. He was subsequently elected to the ATP Tour Player Council and went on to win his first championship in January 1997. In March of that year, he underwent surgery on his elbow which kept him out of action for two months.
In 1998, the year in which he reached Wimbledon's semi-finals for the first time, he was ranked as one of the top 10 ATP players. In 1999, Henman married his long-term girlfriend, TV producer Lucy Heald .
"Tiger Tim" - as he's fondly known to British tabloids and Wimbledon diehards (many of whom assemble on Henman Hill, unofficially named for their hero) - has come tantalisingly close to reaching the final on a number of occasions, bowing out during the semi-final in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002. In 2000 he reached the fourth round and in 2003 and 2004 he was ousted during the quarter-finals.
Until 2004 he had never progressed beyond the fourth round of any grand slam except Wimbledon. However, he finally won a fourth round match at the French Open at the 2004 championships. His run finally came to an end in the semi-finals, where he was beaten by the Argentine Guillermo Coria after winning the first set, the first that the Argentine had lost during the championships.
In the 2004 Summer Olympics tennis event, Henman was seeded fourth and expected to do well, but lost in the first round. However, in the 2004 US Open held soon afterwards he reached the semi-finals for the first time in his career, before losing in straight sets to Roger Federer.
In the 2005 Australian Open he lost in straight sets to Nikolay Davydenko in the third round. This was considered a great disappointment, given his improved results at Grand Slams in the previous year.
One of the tournaments he has been most successful in is Queen's Club.
Even though he's now over 30, some British fans still believe Henman will eventually become the first British player in almost 70 years to win the Wimbledon Men's Singles title.
Henman was created an OBE in the 2003 New Year's Honours List.
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