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James Ward suffers Wimbledon defeat against Mikhail Youzhny

James Ward lost to Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets in the first round at Wimbledon today James Ward lost to Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets in the first round at Wimbledon today

From James Toney at Wimbledon
Monday, June 23, 2014
5:07 PM

Camden’s James Ward will force himself to sit through the video of his Wimbledon defeat after he was soundly beaten by the 17th seed Mikhail Youzhny in one hour and 45 minutes.

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The British No3, from Eversholt Street near Euston station, cut a downbeat figure after a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 defeat by the Russian - a former quarter-finalist at SW19.

“I’ll go away, watch the tape and analyse what happened,” said Ward, who still banks £27,000 as a first-round loser.

“When I had some half chances in the match he came up with the goods and that was the difference.

“It’s never enjoyable watching matches that you lose but it’s part of the process and it needs to be done.

“He played very feel and executed his game and I didn’t play as well as I’d hoped.

“No-one enjoys losing but he’s 17th in the world and there is never an easy match here. I obviously wanted to play better but I need to move forward.”

Ward arrived at the All England Club with confidence brimming and his world ranking tumbling in the right direction.

He nearly pulled off a shock at the French Open, taking clay court specialist Tommy Robredo to four sets.

And he lost to the eventual champion Grigor Dimitrov at Queen’s Club after an early win against Blaz Rola - a player who was 60 places above him in the world rankings.

But Youzhny is a canny operator and started to impose himself on each rally the longer it went on.

Ward will now partner with British Davis Cup team-mate Daniel Evans, another first-round loser, in the men’s doubles before resetting his sights on the US hard court season next month.

Meanwhile, he has welcomed the appointment of Boris Becker’s former coach Bob Brett as the LTA’s new director of player development.

“I think it’s positive,” he added. “He’s obviously a very experienced man, coached some top players, got a great view on the game.

“However, I don’t think he can change things in a week. We’ll see how it goes for the rest of the year.

“I don’t know what changes it means for anybody involved. I’ve been concentrating on training, getting ready for this tournament but he’s obviously going to help.”

As the Official Banking Partner of The Championships, HSBC is helping fans get closer to Wimbledon by giving them the chance to win Centre Court tickets. For further information, visit www.wimbledon.com/hsbc

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