Henman, as we've discussed ad nauseam, is a likable, not-quite-good-enough serve-and-volley player. Prior to this, he'd never been past the third round at Roland Garros. Granted, his bracket put him up against a bunch of once-a-year who-dats thus far. It will be interesting to see how he handles the younger (though not young, in tennis terms) Juan Chela. Of all the players in the QF round, Henman is lucky to have pulled one of the two past-prime second tier. (The other, coincidentally, is Gaston Gaudio, Chela's doubles partner.) Rooting for Henman at Wimbledon, his home and best surface, is the tennis equivalent of being a Cubs fan. For him to win on the Paris clay would be ironic, to say the least, although it would ensure the financial success of Wimbledon this year to have him rolling into London with a slam under his belt. (I've no doubt Fleet Street would immediately declare him, if not the outright favorite, the "man to beat" on the South London turf.) That said, Henman usually makes short work of the clay specialists who dare to tread Wimby's greenery. Likewise, he's not even close to being in the same league on clay as a Kuerten or Coria, and he'll be dismissed quickly.
The other "other" in the QF, Hewitt, seems to be a natural for the French Open, and in fact he's been to the quarters here before. He's a young, aggressive baseliner, fleet of foot, with nice angles to his passing shots. Of course, you could say the same of a certain Michael Chang. Hewitt has two slam trophies on his shelf somewhere, but lately he's gained a bit of a reputation for getting his doors blown off in early rounds by qualifiers. At least with Chang we knew that there was some sort of physical limit to what a short guy with not enough reach could do against the towering Krajiceks of the tour. Hewitt's excuse has yet to be sorted out. Walking away with the big dish this week might mean he doesn't need to come up with one.
Like I said last week, don't take your money off the guys with the vowel names, particularly Guillermo Coria and Carlos Moya, who play in this round; the winner of that match has great odds at being the champion of the fortnight. But don't count out Hewitt.