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TENNIS: Henman feeling good after Massu victory.

Byline: Jim van Wijk & Mark Staniforth

Tim Henman believes he is playing his best-ever tennis as he prepares for Wimbledon but the British No 1 is not taking anything for granted as he prepares for next week's visit to the All England Club.

Henman completed his preparations for Wimbledon with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over Nicolas Massu at the Boodle & Dulthorne Champions Challenge in Stoke Poges.

Henman has drawn little known Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday and he said of yesterday's match against the Chilean No 1, who is ranked 12th in the world: 'It was ideal and just what I needed, having only played one game on grass. It showed I'm still doing the basics pretty well.

'I will leave it to the media to predict the future - I will just worry about my game on Tuesday. I don't know too much about him but I'm sure Paul (Henman's coach Paul Annacone) will ask around and maybe watch him.

'But the big thing I've emphasised over the past few months is worrying about what I'm doing; I've got to concentrate on my own game and play the best tennis.

If I do that, I will have a good chance.' The British No 1 is in the same half of the draw as world No 4 Andy Roddick and big-serving Australian Mark Philippoussis, who reached last year's final.

Henman, though, is only focused on getting past Hidalgo rather than letting concerns occupy his mind about whether he will win the tournament .

'I know right now, coming into Wimbledon, I am playing as well as I have ever played,' he said. 'My results indicate that but I've now got to take that onto the match court on Tuesday. ' Alex Bogdanovic is relishing his Centre Court showdown with reigning Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, just two months after being slung out of the Lawn Tennis Association in shame.

The 20-year-old Londoner had his coach, facilities and pounds 80,000 annual funding withdrawn in April after being accused of lacking the right attitude or commitment.

Now Bogdanovic admits he cannot wait to prove British tennis chiefs wrong after landing the plum opening tie in Wimbledon's first-round draw.

Bogdanovic said: 'I want to show that this is where I belong and write off everything that has happened in the past.

'I was dropped for missing a tournament through food poisoning and that hurt. It has made me work even harder.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 18, 2004
Words:413
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