James Ward rues his failure to set up Andy Murray clash at Wimbledon
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
A disappointed James Ward was left to ponder what might have been as he failed to set up a dream clash against Andy Murray in the second round at Wimbledon.
Britain’s No2, from Eversholt Street near Euston station, upset the odds to progress through the first round last year, but he was unable to replicate that feat yesterday, losing 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 7-6 (13-11) 7-6 (7-4) against the world No75 Yen-Hsun Lu.
Ward, who used to play at Islington Tennis Centre, converted just one of the 13 break points on offer – and the frustrated 26-year-old also vented his anger at the officials on several occasions for what he thought were incorrect line calls.
However, the toughest part of the defeat was the fact that Murray was waiting in the second round, had he overcome the world number 175.
“Of course I will be thinking that could have been me [when Murray plays his next round],” Ward said. “If I’d won I would be playing on Centre Court. It would have been nice. Obviously it’s tough to think about now.
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“It was a massive prize at the end of it to play Andy in the next round, which everyone was talking about before.”
Ward took issue with several line calls in each set. On one occasion he described a line judge’s call as “ridiculous”, and he booted a stray ball over the net in the third set before sarcastically clapping the umpire towards the end of the fourth.
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Court 12 is one of the show courts but it does not have the Hawk-eye video replay system, so players cannot challenge decisions.
American doubles pair Bob and Mark Bryan lashed out at Wimbledon chiefs for putting them on Court 12 in last year’s semi-final for that reason, but Ward declined to follow suit.
He added: “There seemed to be a few more [decisions] against me, but sometimes it goes for you and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s not a disadvantage because a lot of other guys in the draw play out there [on Court 12], not just me.
“A lot of other players sort of get by and, again, have some bad calls against them.
Sometimes they wind up winning, sometimes they don’t. It’s not an excuse and not the reason why I lost the match.”
Ward expects the problem to be eradicated in the future by the All England Club introducing technology on all courts.
“I’m sure [that will happen] in time,” he said. “We saw a big plan of what they’re planning to do over the next few years. It will reach the outside courts as well.”