Search

Improving Ward eyes a run at Wimbledon

13:10 12 June 2014

James Ward during the AEGON Championships at The Queen

James Ward during the AEGON Championships at The Queen's Club

EMPICS Sport

Camden’s James Ward feels his performance at Queen’s is a sign of continuing improvement – and now he’s setting his sights on a good run at Wimbledon.

Ward’s second-round 7-5, 6-3 defeat to world no 13 Grigor Dimitrov in the Aegon Championships followed a straight-sets win against Blaz Rola, where he bridged a rankings gap of 64 places to advance 7-5, 6-4.

The 27-year-old, from Eversholt Street near Euston, felt his match against Dimitrov had come down to just a couple of points.

Ward – who last month became the first British man since 1973 to come through qualifying at the French Open – said: “It was a tough match where we both played to a high level.

“He played a couple of great points at the end of the first set and took his chances in the second.

“He earned the win – it wasn’t me giving it to him, but that’s the difference playing these top guys. You need to stay right at the top of your game to stand any chance.”

As well as his French Open run, the world no 155 enjoyed a memorable five-set Davis Cup win over the USA’s Sam Querrey earlier this year, and he is determined to keep improving.

He added: “I will continue to work hard on all parts of my game, and things are going in the right direction but it’s not going to change overnight.

“I’m improving all the time, as you can see in my results. I’m playing quality players and getting good results and being more consistent.”

A tired Ward finished his involvement at the Queen’s Club when he and Dan Evans suffered a 6-1 4-6 10-4 doubles defeat to Jamie Murray and John Peers, in a match that started just an hour after the Dimitrov clash.

After an encouraging few days at the Aegon Championships, the British no 3 is now looking ahead to the next couple of weeks and especially Wimbledon, after confirmation of his wildcard.

Ward feels he can draw strength from his win against Querrey and said: “I like playing long matches and over five sets anything can happen so I’m really excited for Wimbledon.

“A lot depends on the draw, but I’m looking forward to it and hopeful I can win some matches.”

A factor which could be key at SW19 is Ward’s serve, and after recording an impressive first serve percentage of 83 per cent against Dimitrov, the Brit revealed this is an area of his game he’s been working on.

He said: “I’ve been doing a fair bit of work on my serve – I spoke with my coach about getting more first serves in, as that’s so key on a grass court.”

Before Wimbledon, Ward plays at Eastbourne next week, and as he explains, every tournament is vital to getting points and moving up the rankings – breaking the world’s top 100 for the first time remains a key goal for the former Queen’s semi-finalist.

“Next week the focus is on winning some matches and moving my ranking higher,” he said.

“I need to keep playing at a good level and the results will come. With a few positive results, I could be in the top 100 and that’s a massive step up. It’s a completely different ball game to where I am at the moment.”

A passionate Arsenal fan, Ward paused when asked how a few wins at Wimbledon would compare to the Gunners winning the league. Eventually he joked, “I think a run at Wimbledon might just edge it.”

Latest Islington Sports News

51 minutes ago
Asisat Oshoala, Arsenal

Arsenal Ladies boss Pedro Martinez Losa is backing Asisat Oshoala to be a long-term success despite a slow start to her Gunners career.

07:07
Highgate captain Jake Sharland

Highgate captain Jake Sharland wants his side to forget about results and focus on enjoying the game as they attempt to turn their season around.

Yesterday, 10:13
North Middlesex's Connor Nurse took 4-20 against league leaders Ealing but was less successful when he opened the batting, being bowled first ball. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex find themselves just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League after their latest failure with the bat resulted in a defeat against leaders Ealing.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Skipper Dawid Malan struck an unbeaten half-century to lead Middlesex to a thrilling victory over Somerset in a rain-reduced T20 clash at Lord’s.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Jordan Nobbs, Arsenal Ladies

Jordan Nobbs says Arsenal Ladies must replicate their performance level from last month’s Wembley success to get their league campaign back on track.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

It’s a shame Chris Gayle won’t be coming to Lord’s when we take on Somerset – in a way it would have been fun to play against him.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Islington BC's gold medal winners at the Haringey Box Cup, left to right: Amy Broadhurst, Lamin Conteh and Amy Andrew. Pic: Dieter Perry

A trio of Islington BC fighters maintained the club’s excellent record in the Haringey Box Cup with three gold medals at Alexandra Palace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
George Bailey batting for Australia

Middlesex coach Richard Scott is predicting a “seamless transition” when George Bailey replaces Brendon McCullum as the club’s overseas player next week.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe