By Niall Clarke

  • James Ward and Aljaz Bedene in Wimbledon round two action
  • Ward faces Vesely
  • Bedene faces Troicki

James Ward and Aljaz Bedene will join Andy Murray in flying the British flag, when Wimbledon hits day four on Thursday.

Both Ward and Bedene were tested in round one, but prevailed in four and five sets respectively to book a round two place alongside fellow Brits Andy Murray, and Liam Broady.

Ward came from a set down to defeat lucky loser Luca Vanni (4)6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. The Italian had replaced David Ferrer who withdrew from the tournament before start of play.

Bedene was made to work harder for his victory, but he came from two sets to one down to defeat Radek Stepanek 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The British number two will face 22nd seed Viktor Troicki in round two. The Serbian defeated Alexandr Nedovyesov in four sets in his opening round match.

Many British spectators will remember Troicki from Queens, where he was defeated by Andy Murray in a rain delayed semi-final. The 29 year old has a lot of talent, and he proved he can be a handful for anyone in that semi-final.

Troicki is currently ranked inside the top thirty, but his good year thus far could see him finish inside the top twenty once again. Troicki has been as high as 12 in the world, and has made the fourth round here before.

They have only met once before and that was in a clay challenger last year. At that point Bedene was not a Great Britain representative, and Troicki was still re-climbing the rankings after a 12 month doping ban. Bedene kept it close, but ultimately Troicki came through in straight sets.

The British number two faces an uphill task if he is to make the third round. Troicki is higher ranked and overall the better player, but it is not an impossible task for Bedene who should use the home support to rally him through the match.

Ward also faces a difficult task to make the third round. The British number four faces Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic. Vesely needed three sets to beat Paolo Lorenzi 7-6(7), 7-6(6), 6-4 in round one.

From being a very good challenger player, the 21 year old has made the transition to the main tour well. He is currently ranked at 45 in the world but has been as high as 35 earlier this year. He has only one Wimbledon appearance to his name, which came last year where he lost at this very stage.

This is their first meeting, so there are no previous matches to go by. Ward will have one advantage with the crowd being solidly behind him, and if he can use that energy positively then it is possible he can upset the Czech.

Both Bedene and Ward face difficult, but not impossible tasks to make the third round. Their opponents are the favourites, but it is not impossible that we could see three Brits in the third round.

Ward and Bedene will join Andy Murray in second round action on Thursday. You can follow their progress on the Britwatchsports live scoring service.

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