Ward gives Britain perfect Davis Cup start

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The Independent Online

Davis Cup debutant James Ward got Great Britain off to the perfect start in their Davis Cup clash with Lithuania in Vilnius.

The 23-year-old, the son of a London cabbie, completed a straight sets victory - 6-4 6-2 6-4 - over Lithuanian number two Laurynas Grigelis to put the visitors in front in the crucial Europe-Africa Zone II tie.

Ward got off to a confident start when, having seen Grigelis clinch the opening service game with an ace, he held to love, but he was unable to take advantage of two break-points in the third game.

The match went with serve until the score reached 4-4 with Ward never in any difficulty, and he finally got his nose in front when he converted his fifth break point of the set to lead 5-4.

However, for the first time, Grigelis put Ward under pressure as he tried to close out the first set after he raced into a 40-0 lead, and it took him six attempts to finally see off the Lithuanian.

The Briton maintained the momentum and broke in the opening game of the second set, which he went on to take 6-2, and then broke again in the seventh game of the third set to ease over the finishing line and become the first Briton other than Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski or Andy Murray to win a live rubber since 1996.