Former UK No. 1 Tim Henman finds the trio of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic the finest ever
At 41, Tim Henman still looks fit and lean enough to spark another round of English hopes. Much before Andy Murray could bring a couple of Grand Slams home, it was Henman who was keeping the dream alive.
Every time he reached a Grand Slam semifinal, a nation watched in heightened anticipation for an Open era trophy. Despite reaching six semis, winning 15 career ATP titles in singles and doubles, the big ones — Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open and US Open, eluded him. So much so that he would find a Pete Sampras or someone else at the penultimate stage to keep him from even reaching the final. His struggle could easily conclude that era as the toughest and most competitive ever; Henman, however, doesn’t think so.
With the same calm and poise that he always showed on the court, barring that moment at 1995 Wimbledon which saw him getting disqualified, he praises Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for taking the game to new heights. “Between the three of them they have won 42 Grand Slam titles. That is more than impressive. They have completely changed the way the game is played now. It is much faster, you need to be highly athletic and fit, and quick on your feet. This is certainly the best era of men’s tennis,” Henman says, saving special mention for Djokovic.
“Novak is playing at a completely different level for some time now,” the 6’1” former world No. 4 says. He even puts the year’s first Grand Slam (Australian Open) final between the reigning world No. 1 Serbian and Britain’s Andy Murray in perspective. “Some may feel Murray didn’t try hard enough but the fact is Djokovic was just too good and focused to give him any space to take lead,” Henman says, adding, “Murray still has time though to bring home a few more big trophies. He is just 28; he can still challenge for many more Grand Slams.” His country would like that too!