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James Ward makes early exit at Queen’s - but pockets Wimbledon wild card

15:01 12 June 2012

James Ward

James Ward

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Camden’s James Ward was eliminated in the first round at Queen’s Club today – but still has cause to celebrate after receiving a wild card entry to Wimbledon.

Ward, who is Britain’s No2 and is currently ranked 171 in the world, lost to the ninth seed and world No30 Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 on centre court at the AEGON Championships in Kensington.

The 25-year-old, from Eversholt Street near Euston station, reached the semi-finals of the competition last year before being beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – but he was unable to repeat such heroics this time around.

Despite that disappointment, Ward is already assured of a place at Wimbledon, after being handed one of seven wild cards for the tournament earlier today.

“I played a good match,” he said. “I didn’t do many things wrong but he [Anderson] has a great serve and when you fall behind it’s tough to get back in.

“I had a couple of chances but didn’t take them and he did take his. You don’t get too many and the half-chances you do get, you have to take. It’s a start, I’ll look to improve and see what I can do at Eastbourne.”

Meanwhile, Hackney’s Anne Keothavong – who is currently ranked No76 in the world - beat the world No58 Tamira Paszek 6-2, 7-5 at the AEGON Classic in Birmingham.

The 28-year-old also received a Wimbledon wildcard today for the women’s doubles, and will partner Elena Baltacha in SW19.

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