James Ward focuses on Wimbledon after first-round exit at Nottingham Open

James Ward

James Ward - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Camden’s James Ward lost a one-set lead to fall at the first hurdle for the second tournament in a row as he prepares for Wimbledon next week.

The 28-year-old, from Eversholt Street near Euston station, faced USA’s Tim Smyczek in the first round of the Nottingham Open yesterday (Monday), and he won the first set 6-1 against the world No 72.

But rain forced the players off with the second set finely poised at 5-4. And, when play resumed today (Tuesday), Smyczek won a tie-breaker 7-3 before completing a marked tournaround by winning the next four games en route to taking the decider 6-1.

Ward had also been one set up in the first round of Queen’s the previous week, but was ultimately beaten 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 by the world No 8, Milos Raonic of Canada.

The north Londoner, who is Britain’s No 4 and ranked 110th in the world, will now focus on Wimbledon, which starts on Monday, after being given a wild card into the main draw of the men’s singles competition. He will discover his opponent on Friday.

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