By Niall Clarke
- James Ward and Aljaz Bedene are in ATP 250 action this week
- Bedene will play in Umag, Croatia
- Ward will play in Bogota, Colombia.
Great Britain’s James Ward and Aljaz Bedene will be in action this upcoming week as they take to the courts of Bogota and Umag respectively.
The Davis Cup heroics have sent the British tennis community into a frenzy after a 3-1 victory over France at Queens Club this weekend. Tennis however rarely takes a break as two of the Isle’s best representatives will be in ATP main tour action this week.
Ward could not repeat his Glasgow triumph against John Isner as he fell rather tamely to Gilles Simon in the opening runner of the Davis Cup quarter final on Friday. Now a top 100 player, the British number three can get direct entry in to some of the smaller ATP events, and he will take his chances in Bogota this week.
The hard court tournament is headlined by Ivo Karlovic, who might be best known to British fans as Andy Murray’s fourth round opponent a few weeks ago. Bernard Tomic– Who has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons this week- is the second seed, with Adrian Mannarino and Victor Estrella rounding off the top four seeds.
Ward is seeded eighth himself, meaning he will not meet any of the four players mentioned above until the quarter finals. He has been drawn in Estrella’s section, who at 33 years of age is having his best season to date- Who says age is a factor?
The Brit will face Michael Berrer– who defeated Rafael Nadal earlier in the year- in the opening round in what could be a tricky but winnable match. With Illya Marchenko or a qualifier for a second round opponent, Ward will be fancied to make the quarter finals though it must be noted the 25 year old has struggled on the main tour outside of the UK.
Bedene was ineligible to compete for Great Britain in the Davis Cup, but the Slovenian born man will fly the flag in the main draw of Umag this week.
In a tournament featuring the likes of Roberto Bautista-Agut, Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini, it is difficult seeing Bedene going the distance, but the 25 year old may be able to spring a surprise somewhere in the draw.
That place is in the bottom quarter with second seeded Bautista Agut, and young sensation Borna Coric. The Croatian will be the Brit’s second round opponent should he make it past wild-card Mate Delic and Coric defeats Marcel Granollers. Bedene could very well be public enemy number one in Umag if he makes it to the quarter finals.
You can follow Ward and Bedene’s progress on our live scoring service: Live Scores