Henman hopes to spark return to form at Washington

July 30, 2007 - 0:0

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- England's Tim Henman, battling back from a right knee injury and a second-round defeat at Wimbledon, hopes a return to form begins with a busy schedule and a return to the site of past success.

Henman begins his hardcourt run to the U.S. Open here this week at the ATP Washington Classic. He missed three months with a bone spur that aggravated his hamstring and needed five months to return to 100 percent health. ""That's a long time to be out of competition. I'm just trying to get back into the rhythm of playing tournaments,"" Henman said. ""My game's in pretty good shape, but upon reflection of the year it hasn't been very straightforward."" The 32-year-old British star won an epic four-hour match over Carlos Moya in round one at Wimbledon before falling to another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez, in a five-setter. ""I certainly haven't played enough tennis. I want to play more. I want to get back into the rhythm of playing and winning matches,"" Henman said. ""I've been hitting the ball well. I know my game is in good shape."" Henman, the 2003 Washington winner, opens against U.S. wild card John Isner, the U.S. college championship runner-up, with German eighth seed Benjamin Becker awaiting the winner in round two of the 600,000-dollar event. Time is running short for an elusive Grand Slam title but Henman still enjoys the game and applies a short-term focus to his game in order to reach his potential. ""I'm aware I'm much closer to the end of my career than the beginning,"" Henman said. ""I want to enjoy the opportunities I've got. In the big picture, it's a short career. Talk about retiring at 35, not too many people can say that. You want to take advantage and enjoy the opportunity."" ""You keep looking forward when you come to the end of your career. It's a different path and one that's not quite as clear. That's when you want to focus on what you want to do with your game on a daily basis.