James Ward awaits Wimbledon draw after early exit at Eastbourne
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Camden’s James Ward suffered a setback in his preparations for Wimbledon when he was knocked out of the first round of the Aegon International in Eastbourne.
The world no155 went down in straight sets to the American Donald Young in just one hour and three minutes on Tuesday, and failed to manufacture a single break point on his opponent’s serve.
The 6-3, 6-2 defeat was a big disappointment for Ward, who reached the second round at Queen’s a week ago and gave a decent account of himself, losing in two tight sets to world no13 Grigor Dimitrov – the eventual winner.
Ward, an avid Arsenal fan from Eversholt Street near Euston station, found out last week that he had been granted a wildcard for Wimbledon, having qualified for the French Open last month.
The draw for Wimbledon takes place on Friday, with the tournament itself starting on Monday.
The 27-year-old will be hoping to avoid the big names early on, having previously faced Marat Safin, Marcos Baghdatis and Fernando Verdasco in the opening rounds at Queen’s and Wimbledon.
The British no3 has only reached the second round at SW19 once, when he defeated the Spaniard Pablo Andujar in 2012 before going down in five sets to the 10th seed Mardy Fish.
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To better that, Ward will have to improve his serve. Against Young he won only 49 per cent of points on his first serve – and he will need to show the same aggression that secured a thrilling five-set Davis Cup win earlier this year against the USA’s Sam Querrey.