Bitesize: Redefining success - Tim Henman

Is success about winning - or fulfilling your potential?

Someone I see often at Wimbledon is Tim Henman – someone I loved watching in the late 90s through to the early 2000s, and who I have had the pleasure of interviewing several times over the years. Now Tim used to get flack – and sometimes still does – for not winning Wimbledon. He was four-times a semi-finalist, but many people seemed to think that was a failure of sorts. I remember one interview with a Championship footballer in which he said he didn’t want to be a 'classic British loser' like Tim Henman, seemingly overlooking the fact that Tim was ranked as high as number four in the world, while this particular footballer wasn’t even the fourth best player at his club, which was in England’s second division. And so – I think Tim is a really great person to explore what success means. Many people tend to think in binary terms – in terms of winning and losing, but actually isn’t it about fulfilling your potential? Tim definitely did that – there wasn’t much expected of Tim as a junior, yet he took British tennis to new heights, laying the groundwork for Andy Murray to go on and reach the Wimbledon promised land.


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