Murray not amused by Henmaniacs' calls
Published 24/06/2011 | 05:00
Toiling in the long shadow of Henman Hill, and against the backdrop of the affection that Middle England still has for Tim Henman, Andy Murray has revealed the irritation he feels on Centre Court when the wags blurt out "C'mon Tim" between points.
Four summers after Henman's last appearance at the Wimbledon Championships, Aorangi Terrace still goes by its unofficial name, and every cry for the former British No 1 is a reminder of how Murray is competing for space and oxygen on the grass with someone sitting in a suit in a BBC commentary booth.
While Henman is retired, the Henmaniacs are not, and their interjections have become so predictable that, before Murray's opening-round match this week, he discussed with his team about when they thought the first cry would come. Murray predicted it would be as early as the opening game, and he was right. "We were talking about it before my first match," he said, "and asking how long it would be before the first 'C'mon Tim'. I said within the first game, and it came four minutes in."
Murray, his voice tinged with sarcasm, said before he today plays Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic for a place in the fourth round. "It happens every match, three or four times, and I don't find it particularly amusing."
The 'big four' might have found their progress through to the third round at Wimbledon reasonably serene, but Robin Soderling, the man nipping at their heels, was forced to come from two sets behind for the first time in his career to avoid becoming the first surprise casualty.
The fifth seed was just two games away from going out to former champion Lleyton Hewitt before fighting his way free with a bombing serve that at times seems borderline criminal, smashing his way to victory, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 in a riveting slug-fest that lasted six minutes shy of four hours.
Soderling, who will play either Bernard Tomic or Igor Andreev in the third round, said: "I never came back from two sets to love down before in my career. You just have to take one point at a time, try to forget about the scoreline. I didn't want to go off the court feeling that I didn't give 100pc."
little fuss for Federer
Switzerland's Roger Federer, the third seed, defeated France's Adrian Mannarino 6-2 6-3 6-2 in the second round.
The six-time champion at the All England Club was at his graceful best as he swept aside Mannarino, ranked 55 in the world, with the minimum of fuss in one hour and 28 minutes on Centre Court.
Confronted with a near-faultless display from the Swiss, Mannarino was powerless to halt what turned into a procession.