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James Ward - first round

Tuesday 26 June 2012

J. WARD/P. Andujar

4‑6, 6‑0, 3‑6, 6‑3, 6‑3

Q. You looked dead and buried in that fifth set.
JAMES WARD: Did I?

Q. How did you pull it out? That was terrific fighting qualities.
JAMES WARD: Yeah, I didn't think I was dead. I was only a break, you know, and you saw from the first game of the match I had looks on every single one of his service games by one or two in the third and fourth set. So I always knew if I kept to my own serve and I started serving a bit smarter and towards the end of the match, because he was returning really well off his backhand, so I mixed it up, bit more body and forehand, and then got a few more free points.

Q. What happened in that sixth game? Seemed to be a winner that was a bit disputed. It seemed to be a bit of a turning point, really. I think you would have been advantaged?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, maybe. Earlier on in the match when I questioned the ball, he told me obviously I've known the guy for years. We practiced when we was younger when I lived in Spain. We're good friends. If you hear it from your opponent and he's a friend of yours and he says it's out, you know, you generally believe him. That's what I did earlier on. I said to him, I thought it was wide, and he didn't take it too well.
Yeah, I mean, it was no problem, but he was just a bit upset about that. Obviously it was a big point, a break point then.
Then after that, obviously the umpire doesn't speak a word of Spanish and started having a go at me, because when he fell over I just asked him if he was okay. There was no other words involved. Just asked him if he was all right. He said, Yeah, I'm fine.
That was it. I get a telling off for asking if he was all right. So I won't say nothing in the future. (Laughter.)

Q. You've done a lot to lift the nation today really given what's happened in the football and everything and the usual kind of doom and gloom ahead of Wimbledon. You've done a lot to lift morale. Do you agree with that?
JAMES WARD: I don't know about that at the moment. I'm pretty tired myself. It's quarter to 8:00. I have been here all day, like you guys, as well, I'm sure.
No, I'm sure it will sink in a little bit later. It's a good win in five sets and took me back to when I won in five sets Davis Cup against Tunisia when no one really knew or followed the Davis Cup back then, the small venues and stuff.
I was 4 2 down in the fifth and came back and won that match. I knew I had it in the tank, and I knew if I kept carried on going I'd get a few chances, and in the end it worked out.

Q. This is the biggest win of your career, presumably. Wimbledon, massive venue.
JAMES WARD: Yeah, of course. Wimbledon is the biggest tournament in the world. He's a top player, you know. Grass isn't his favorite surface, don't get me wrong, but he's 36 in the world and wins titles on clay for fun.
He's a good player and he competes very well. He didn't give up on anything. Yeah, it's a massive win.

Q. In the overall scheme of things in your progression as a player, how important do you regard a victory like this and the circumstances you won the match?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, very well. Last year I did well at Queen's, and this year, going back, tough draw. I played Anderson who missed out on seeding by one. I lost 4 in the third. Tight match. Guy serves massive.
Last week I played against Matasovic, who seems to be playing great, as well. I lost 4 in the third. You know, there's nothing in these matches. Just one or two points change them. And then he went on to beat Gasquet, you know.
People around me are telling me that you're not too far away. You've got to keep going. Keep your head up. It's not easy, because obviously everyone expected you to do what you did last year at Queen's, so it was a tough couple of weeks.
It makes the hard work worthwhile.

Q. Can you keep going against Mardy Fish?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, I'm sure. I'm not sure if I've got doubles or anything tomorrow. I'll worry about that first. Then play Fish on Thursday. I look forward to it. Get a game plan together and see how it goes.

Q. He was taken to a hard game today.
JAMES WARD: Yeah, he hasn't played for a while. He's had some health problems. I think he's still 10, 11 in the world. That guy can play whether he's ill or if he's feeling great.
Yeah, we'll deal with it on Thursday.

Q. You were quoted as saying I think earlier that you were worried about renewing your Arsenal season tickets. Are you sorted for that now?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, I think I sold them today, actually. Bit of a nightmare. I probably can afford it now.

Q. You sold your season tickets?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, because, I mean, it's expensive. Arsenal is the most expensive season ticket there is. I might try and speak to the guy and get them back (Laughter.) See if I can get them back.

Q. Did you sell it to someone you knew?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, yeah, someone I know.

Q. Which part of the Emirates did you say it's actually in?
JAMES WARD: It's Turnstile S, upper tier, row 22. I'm a few up. I mean, it's 1300 a ticket, and the problem is for me is if I'm traveling so much I can only go to six, eight games a season max.

Q. Turns out to be an expensive day.
JAMES WARD: Yeah.

Q. You'll try to get one now?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, I'll try. Why not? Also, if anyone from Arsenal is watching and would like to offer me...

Q. Without putting any sort of damper on it, you missed out on a wildcard for the Olympics.
JAMES WARD: Yeah. I just got the message about that, yeah. Of course it's disappointing. Every time I have been asked to play Davis Cup I've always represented my country proudly, and I would have done it again.
It would have been great to be playing the home Olympics in London. It's once in a lifetime really. And being from London and obviously now playing well at Wimbledon, it would have been great to play again here again in a few weeks' time.
But it's not to be. I can't have too many arguments about it. My ranking is not where it is. You can't sort of say, You have to get one. Being home nation, I thought we had a decent chance. I think the girls have got two, which is no comment. But what can you do?
If I'm asked to play for Great Britain any time in the future, I will be playing.

Q. You mentioned knowing his game. Does that help closing the gap? There is a big gap in the rankings obviously between you and...
JAMES WARD: Oh, yeah. Of course. It's got me 45 points which I didn't have earlier today. It will move me back up to 150ish, which where I have been sitting for a long time.
So, yeah, if it will help me get in a few more tournaments. But hopefully this week isn't done, and, you know, things can change fast.
That's another big thing. It only takes one or two big weeks and you can jump and have a chance to play on the main tour all year round.

Q. Knowing his game as well as somebody you have grown up with playing, I mean, does that...
JAMES WARD: He knew me as well as I knew him. He knew that I have been playing well on grass, and I know he's a top player because of where he is. We practiced a lot when we was younger.
And, no, I knew his game, but it was tough today. You know, he's a fighter, like all the Spanish players are. They don't give you anything. You run down a lot of balls.
So, yeah, it was tough.

Q. Does beating him make up for selling Fabregas?
JAMES WARD: No, not at all. He didn't go on to win anything, did he. Until he does at Barca, it makes me feel a little better.

Q. (Question off microphone.)
JAMES WARD: Well, yeah. A little bit, yeah.

Q. Is he still your mate?
JAMES WARD: Pablo? Yeah, of course. I'm sure he won't be tonight, but, yeah, we get on fine. You've got to put it aside when you get it on court. I'm sure he wouldn't have been too fussed how I was feeling if he would have won today.
You know, you've got to get on with it, and I'm sure he'll move on. He's not going to be too depressed. It's his least favorite surface. It was a good match.

Q. Where will you go now you're not playing the Olympics?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, I'm going to be in the States for a while. I'm going to go Newport, probably Atlanta, then maybe Lexington challenger, then Vancouver challenger, I think, and then maybe Cincinnati quallies if I get in if my ranking is high enough. If not, a week of practice before US Open.

Q. Sounds like this payday could help you get your season ticket back. Have you thought about if you went through the next round what you might be looking at?
JAMES WARD: No. You don't think about the money. Everyone says it, and I know it's sometimes hard to believe. I'm actually thinking more about the points at the moment, you know, because my ranking's I'm 170, which I dropped because of the points at Queen's, but I don't I deserve to be 170. My level of tennis at the moment I think is top 100, and it has been for a few months.
But I have been coming up against some really good players, so you've got to keep going, and see. The points mean prizes, so...

Q. What do you want to achieve in your career?
JAMES WARD: Oh, I mean, as always, everyone says top 100, you know. So why don't we make it 80. That's the ultimate goal, straightaway, and then obviously if you're doing well, then top 50. But it's a big hurdle from 100 even to 120.
So, I mean, I was at 130 even a few weeks ago, and there's still a big gap in points. So it's a couple of good weeks, and then you're there.

Q. Do you think that this is actually potentially a good time for British men's tennis, because you have five or six years of fallow period with only Andy getting beyond the first round. We've got Josh and Oliver coming through, Oliver particularly.
JAMES WARD: Yeah. I saw a little bit of Oli's match yesterday because it took me a while to get home from here last night.
But I saw a little bit. He had nothing to lose. He played fearless. Andreev, again, he's an experienced player, so he was always going to make some balls at important points.
But, you know, it's a great learning experience for him, and I'm sure he will go on and play better next year.

Q. Where is home?
JAMES WARD: Home for me is at Euston. So it's a bit of a trek to get here every day, but it's worth it.
I mean, I enjoy being at home. I'm traveling all year round, so why wouldn't I sleep in my own bed? It's very rare for all of us, so when it's in London, I've got to make the most of it. 25 minute walk, yeah.

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