Tennis-Wimbledon-Make People's Sunday permanent, says Henman

— -- By Ossian Shine LONDON, June 28 - If Tim Henman had it his way, Wimbledon would stage a People's Sunday every year. Britain's sole hope for glory at the grasscourt grand slam rode a wave of patriotic support past Hicham Arazi and into the fourth round on what was supposed to be a rest day on Sunday. Now he wants the club to play 14 days out of 14 every year. "It's absolutely phenomenal. I'm fortunate with the atmosphere, when I play here on the show courts, it's great. But this is different, there's no doubting that," he said. "I'll bring in the middle Sunday when I'm chairman," he laughed. For the first time since 1997 -- and only the third time in the history of the tournament -- Wimbledon organisers were forced to schedule play on the middle Sunday because of a backlog of games caused by two days lost to rain in the first week. Tickets were sold at the gate on a first-come, first-served basis so the more staid dignitary and corporate element of the weekday crowd was not present to dampen enthusiasm. Henman revelled in the atmosphere. "I'm so fortunate that I've had that opportunity twice. I played in '97 and, you know, that was a pretty amazing match to win 14-12 in the fifth. "And, likewise, today, you know, they're true fans to be out there queuing. It was packed from the word 'go'. "I'm sure there's going to be debate whether this should happen every year. "And I can see from the club's point of view that it's a difficult thing to organise at the last minute, but from a playing point of view, it's a privilege. "I think it's great. I'm not in any way criticising the fans that come and support the other 13 days. WORKED WELL "But when you give those people the opportunity, and they've queued, they've paid, and, you know, they are obviously passionate about the game and supporting me, as it was, today, I think it's something that I think could be capitalised on, to give them the opportunity of coming to the most prestigious tournament in the world. "Everybody knows it's not easy to get tickets for this event. "I think it's something that's worked unbelievably well. You know, unfortunately at the moment, it's not for me to make the decision. But ... when I'm chairman, I'll bring it in," he smiled. "Throughout the history of this tournament there's always been a tradition of the queuing, and it starts on Friday before the tournament. I think for the Sunday, it would be no different. "In Paris they have a Kids' Day on Wednesdays and they get a phenomenal turnout. I'm sure it's a good thing for the game over there. Perhaps this is something that we could use." However not everyone was thrilled by the atmosphere. As fans clamoured to get onto Centre Court to watch Henman beat Arazi, other courts were left sparsely populated. South Africa's Wayne Ferreira was one who was disappointed, playing in his final Wimbledon. "It was really disappointing there weren't that many people out there," he said after losing on court seven. "What can you do about it?" Even court one was no way near full. "Yeah, it's strange," said women's fourth seed Amelie Mauresmo after beating Ludmila Cervanova. "But I guess people maybe were not ready to come today and were not expecting that day to be a tennis day here at Wimbledon. So, pretty strange ..."