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TIM HENMAN stayed far from the madding crowd yesterday in the build-up to his third round clash with Wayne Ferreira at Wimbledon.

Henman escaped the spotlight by practising at Queen's instead of the All England Club in preparation for today's meeting with close friend Ferreira.

The British number one made the most of `Henmania' while coming back from a set down against Australian qualifier Scott Draper on Thursday, whipping the Centre Court crowd into a frenzy after squandering a 3-1 lead when losing the opening set 6-3. But he preferred a quiet afternoon of practice a few miles away from SW19 as he concentrated on booking a place in the last 16 and a match against either Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek or Switzerland's Michel Kratochvil.

The 27-year-old has the upper hand in his previous meetings with Ferreira, winning four of his six meetings with the South African. Perhaps significantly Ferreira, now 30, won two of the first three matches between the pair, but Henman has won the last three, including their only meeting on grass.

``If I lose to him, I want him to go on to win,'' said Ferreira. ``But he has to get through me first. I fancy my chances and against anyone and I'm feeling pretty good about my form after two good wins.''

Those came in four sets against Spain's Albert Portas in the first round, and in five sets against 30th seed Ivan Ljubicic after the Croatian came back from two sets down to force a decider. Henman has dropped just one set so far, but there is room for improvement.

``I think I can improve in lots of areas,'' he added.

OPINION - Page Four
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2002
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