October 26, 2005

Murray upsets Henman in battle of Britain

By Mark Ledsom

BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) - Scottish teenager Andy
Murray was celebrating another career milestone on Wednesday
after beating British number one Tim Henman in the first round
of the Swiss Indoors tournament.

"That was definitely the biggest win of my career," Murray
told reporters after completing a 6-2 5-7 7-6 win over his
friend, training partner and rival.

"Tim has been one of the best or most consistent players of
the last decade and to win against someone I have so much
respect for is a pretty good deal for me and also something
that's very special emotionally."

Ranked 70th in the world, after soaring up from 357th place
in June, the 18-year-old Murray is already being hailed as the
future of British tennis.

In the opening stages of his first competitive meeting with
Henman, he lived up to that billing. The Scot got off to a
flying start by winning the first four games.

Henman rallied in the second set, however, with several
trademark runs into the net.

Seeded sixth, and chasing his third Basel title, the world
number 28 appeared to have turned things around after
successfully preventing Murray from serving out the match at

A tightly-fought third set ensued with neither player being
stretched to a break point.

Murray held his nerve in the tiebreak, profiting from a
couple of unforced Henman errors to seal the decider 7-4.

As well as the inevitable "Battle of Britain" tag,
Wednesday's match was seen as a potential changing of the guard
within the higher ranks of British tennis.

Neither player agreed with that assessment.

"It's not (a change of the guard) for me," Murray insisted.
"He's still a top 30 player even though he's had a bad year by
his standards.

"If he comes back next year and plays the way people know
he can, then he can still be in the top 30 or even 20. At the
moment I'm still just in the top 70, so it's not like that at

Henman added: "I don't know what this mystery thing is that
I'm meant to be passing on. "What is it? A torch, a flag, a

"Whatever it is I'm more than happy for Andy to have it. I
guess I've had it since the first time I beat (former British
number one) Jeremy Bates but for us players it's irrelevant.

"I'm frustrated and disappointed to have lost today because
I don't feel I executed my shots very well but in the overall
context of things it's just another match."