Former Great Britain No.1 is in Mumbai to spearhead a new initiative aimed at boosting the development of junior tennis in the country.
Great Britain’s Tim Henman was not lucky to win a grand slam singles title once; he had a great run from 1998 to 2002 at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-finals four times and the French and US Open once in 2004. On a visit here to launch the HSBC Road To Wimbledon junior (under-14) programme, the 39-year old Henman said that Andy Murray has benefitted from Ivan Lendl’s coaching, but he is interested to see how Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg are going to help Serbian Novak Djokovic and Switzerland's Roger Federer. “Lendl has done a great job with Murray. With his experience he has had a great impact on Murray’s game. Lendl lost his first four Grand Slam finals and Murray lost his first four and then for Lendl to help Murray mentally to get over that has been fantastic. Becker working with Djokovic and Edberg with Federer, I did not expect that to happen. I am interested to see if Federer and Djokovic are going to play a little bit differently.’’
With the Australian Open set to being on Monday, the tennis world is curious to know the new ideas that Edberg and Becker would bring to Federer and Djokovic’s game. “It would not be about teaching new shots, it would be about strategy and maybe a gamestyle against a particular opponent, may be to do something with the preparation or something mentally on the court. If you don’t think that you can improve on anything, then you are wrong.’’
Citing Rafael Nadal No. 1 ranking in the world he said: “He is No. 1 in the world, and even though he cannot improve his ranking, he can become a better player. He still has the hunger and desire knowing how he has been training in the off-season. He has been absolutely great.’’
Henman went on to say that Federer is the best player ever who has played the game. "We should be enjoying watching him while he is still playing. He has earned the right to play as long as he wants. If he’s enjoying it (playing), who are we to say that he should stop? He has won 17 grandslams. He still has the desire and that’s why he is a great champion. Nadal is the best competitor in any sport. He plays every point hundred per cent. And that’s why I am a tennis fan, I love watching him.’’
A professional for 15 years Henman said that the current era has been the toughest in men’s curcuit. “Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 36 slams together. I don’t think the modern game has seen such a tough era. These are the best players, although Federer has not dominated them all. Is Nadal going to be better than Federer…Nadal is not injured at the moment. Last year was the best year of his life. This is the beauty of sport. There are no scripts; it’s not a like a film. These are the best athletes in the world.’’