Video: Anyone for tennis? Tim Henman coaches children at Westfield Stratford City
- Credit: Archant
“I used to play lots of sport when I was a kid,” admitted Tim Henman during a chat at Westfield Stratford City. “I made my one and only career decision when I was six: I wanted to be a tennis player.”
There may have been more children making the same decision this weekend after the former British No 1 joined tennis coach Judy Murray on the Robinsons Pop Up and Play court.
The pair sought to prove to families that there is no need to use a dedicated venue to play the sport while helping young players develop their skills.
Judy taught them a variety of mini games that can be practiced at home before they joined her and Tim for a doubles match.
They were joined by television star Amanda Holden for a knock about on the court.
“She was great, really enthusiastic and energetic,” said Tim.
Since retiring from the sport in 2007, Tim has kept himself busy, working as a brand ambassador and playing on the ATP Champions tour for former professionals.
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He became part of the commentary team for Wimbledon in 2008, a role he has remained in ever since.
“Wimbledon is definitely my favourite place to play; having the fans behind you really helps,” he said.
“I also enjoyed playing at the Australian Open because the weather is so different at that time of year.
“I’ve always wanted to play in New Zealand too, but the tournament is the week before Australia and I liked to be in the city and getting settled that week.”
Tim, who has reached the Wimbledon semi-finals four times, is positive about Andy Murray’s chances of retaining his title later this month.
“I think he’s got a good chance, especially after reaching the semis of the French Open.
“Six weeks ago there wasn’t quite the same expectation after having back surgery but I think he could do it.”
With a number of budding young players taking to the court in the Stratford shopping centre, Tim is optimistic about the future of British tennis.
“I think Kyle Edmund has a good future; he’s already ranked around 280.
“It would be nice to see five or six good British players helping each other to improve.”