Taxi for Pablo Andujar! James Ward marches on

 

"South of the River guv? Love to." Certainly if the journey is to Wimbledon, to see the Euston cab-drivers' son James Ward win a second-round place at Wimbledon for the first time.

The 25-year-old Davis Cup player showed resilience and talent to defeat the world No 36, Spain's Pablo Andujar, 4-6, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Ward will now play the American No 10 seed, Mardy Fish.

Yesterday's opponent was a year older and 137 places higher up the rankings than Ward but the grass surface was a leveller. Andujar had lost in the opening round on two previous visits to SW19, so one of these men would be going into uncharted territory.

The lean and wiry Ward lost a closely-contested first set by a break but then swept Andujar away to take the second 6-0 in 21 minutes. The Spaniard rallied to win the third 6-3 but Ward responded again, producing an ace when he needed it to serve out in the fourth.

Ward had not previously gone the full distance in a Grand Slam match but he had five-set experience in the Davis Cup, notably in the fabled Wimbledon play-off of 2009 when the then-Davis Cup captain, John Lloyd, decided that players had to compete for wild cards. Ward and Chris Eaton duelled for six hours and 40 minutes before Eaton prevailed 21-19 in the final set.

In preparation, perhaps, for another marathon yesterday, both players took extended comfort breaks before the fifth set. The interruption seemed to affect Ward as he quickly slipped to a 3-0 deficit. Amid rising tension and with both players irked by line calls, he pulled back to 3-3.

There followed an exchange in Spanish to which the umpire took exception – until Ward, who spent several years training in Valencia, explained that he had been asking Andujar "if he was OK", the Spaniard having slipped to do the splits at a crucial point.

Ward proceeded to break again and hold serve and he then took the set and the match with a sixth consecutive game – a demoralised Andujar double-faulted on Ward's first match point.

Yesterday the Wimbledon website had a blank space and the legend "photo not available" on its page for Ward. They may be able to find a picture of him now, as a lot more people now know what he looks like. Should he go on to defeat Fish, Ward's days of anonymity will be over.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders