By Glenys Furness

  • Alex Ward made first challenger final
  • Defeated three seeds along the way
COLUMBUS, OHIO, USA – Alex Ward made his first ATP Challenger final, defeating three seeded players en route.

 

Brit of the Week

Alex Ward used a protected ranking to enter the ATP Challenger in Columbus Ohio. His first round opponent was the fifth seed Mackenzie McDonald. The American although higher ranked, certainly posed no trouble for the Brit in the first set. Ward broke early twice and McDonald was unable to break back. The second set was much more of the same with the Brit really dominating all the games to move easily into the second round 6-2, 6-2.

The second round opponent was another American, this time wildcard, Martin Joyce. The American had come through the first round in two tight tiebreak sets and looked to be continuing in the same vein, breaking Ward to take the first set. The Brit wasn’t done though and fought back in the second set to level the match. The final set the Brit managed to get the break on the American and took the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Ward found himself up against Denis Kudla the fourth seed in the quarter-final. The American started well and broke the Brit early to gain the advantage in the first set, Ward was unable to get the break back. The second set saw the momentum swing back towards the Brit as he broke Kudla and levelled up the match. In the final set Ward was on a roll and broke the American twice to book a spot in the semi-final 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The semi-final saw the Brit against the seventh seed Dennis Novikov. The American was no match for Ward in the first set as the Brit served out a breadstick set. Despite Novikov playing better in the second set the American was still unable to break the serve of Ward. The Brit cruised into the final 6-1, 6-3.

In the final Ward was against Ante Pavic. The Croatian had made the main draw as an alternate and had made steady progress to reach the final. The first set was very tight, with both players breaking serve and ultimately the set ended up going to a tiebreak. The Brit edged the breaker to have the lead. Pavic though was not going away quietly and in the second set managed to break back after the Brit had taken the lead.

Pavic sealed the second set and it was down to the final set for the title. Once again both players were trading the break, before eventually the pressure told on Ward who was broken again, this left Pavic with the chance to serve out for the title which he did, denying Ward his first title from his first ATP final, but overall it has been a great week for Ward – 6-7(11), 4-6, 3-6.

 

ITF & Challenger Round Up.

Brydan Klein lost in the first round of Columbus to the top seed Quentin Halys 6-3, 6-7(5), 1-6.

Luke Bambridge came through qualifying before losing in the first round of Columbus 4-6, 2-6

Tom Farquharson won the title in Roehampton defeating the top seed Michal Konecny 7-6(5), 6-2

Katie Boulter lost in the quarter-final of Tampico 4-6, 0-6

Tara Moore lost in the quarter-final of Albuquerque 5-7, 5-7

Harriet Dart lost in the semi-final of Lubbock 6-7(5), 2-6

Next week Brits play in Chengdu, Wuhan, Orleans, Tiburon, Jonkoping & Clermont-Ferrand.

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