Pulls out of Wimbledon: David Ferrer Injury
Published: June 29, 2015
Pulls out of Wimbledon: David Ferrer Injury, James Ward has not had much luck over the past few months, with injuries stopping him in his tracks just when it looked like he might build on his Davis Cup heroics in April and crack on towards a place in the top 100.
A nagging foot injury means he is playing through some discomfort to feature at Wimbledon, hoping that a hefty dose of painkillers can get him through and boost his hopes of playing for Britain in the quarter-final against France the week after the tournament.
So the withdrawal of David Ferrer, the No8 seed, with an elbow injury was a welcome piece of good news for Ward, who has dropped to No4 in the country’s standings behind Aljaz Bedene, who recently qualified to play for Britain after switching allegiance from Slovenia, and the 20-year-old Kyle Edmund.
Ferrer, who had played in 50 consecutive grand slam events, is not at his best on grass but the Spaniard would nevertheless have been a tough opponent. Ward will play lucky loser Luca Vanni of Italy, ranked 113, three places lower than the Englishman.
The 30-year-old Vanni lost in five sets to Australia’s Luke Saville in the final round of qualifying and has only ever played one match in the main draw of a grand slam, at this year’s French Open, losing to another Australian, Bernard Tomic in four sets.
Ward’s problems began just after his victory over John Isner in the Davis Cup first-round match against the United States in April, a win that helped to propel Britain into the last eight. A long flight to California and a change in speed of court surface – from indoors in Glasgow to the relatively slow hard courts in Indian Wells – did not help, causing him knee trouble. Then, in the month leading up to the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, he was struggling with foot trouble.
The 28-year-old Ward revels in front of his home crowd, though, and if he is physically up to it, he will expect to advance to round two, having won his only previous meeting with Vanni, albeit in 2007 in a Futures Tour event, the lowest rung on the professional ladder.
With the exception of those who travelled to Paris to see him in action, British fans will have their first opportunity to assess the skills of Bedene, who came straight in as the country’s No2 after changing nationality. The 25-year-old world No74, who has lived in Britain for the past seven years and has never won a grand slam singles match in eight attempts, plays Radek Stepanek, the wily 36-year-old Czech who knows his way around a grass court.
Both Ward and Bedene will be in action on Tuesday but Heather Watson is due on court on Monday, up against the No32 seed, Caroline Garcia, a woman once tipped by Andy Murray as a future world No1. Naomi Broady has a winnable match against Mariana Duque-Mariño of Colombia while her brother, Liam Broady, faces Marinko Matosevic of Australia. The Broady siblings each received wildcards into the main draw after improving their rankings.
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