By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray is through to the fourth round of Wimbledon, James Ward is out.
- Murray defeated Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1
- Ward loses out to Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 8-6.
Andy Murray is through to the second week of Wimbledon after a four sets victory over Andreas Seppi. Meanwhile James Ward’s run has come to an end after a five set epic against Vasek Pospisil.
Murray- who had not lost to Seppi for nine years, needed four sets and just over two hour to seal his place in the fourth round.
The British number one stated his intent early by breaking in the opening game of the match. Seppi was struggling to cope with the Murray return and faced another break point before finally surrendering a second service game. Murray served out the set 6-2 to the roar of the crowd and the millions of Brits watching at home.
The second set followed the exact same pattern as the first. Murray broke yet again in the opening game and then again at 5-2, before serving out the second set 6-2 to give him a two sets to love lead.
The Brit was seemingly cruising towards the fourth round, but a medical time out seemed to faze the 28 year old. Murray’s game went AWOL with un-characteristic errors spewing off the racket, and that allowed Seppi back in to the match. The 25th seed reeled off six straight games to win the third set and give himself a break advantage at the start of the fourth.
Murray took a medical time out of his own for a shoulder problem, and when the play resumed the Brit was rejuvenated. It was Murray’s turn to win six consecutive games as the errors that cost him the third set had evaporated like Seppi’s chances of an come back. In the ascendency once again, Murray made no mistake closing the match out. It was sealed with an ace, much to the delight of the home crowd.
It was a positive way to finish the day from a British perspective after the heartbreak a few hours prior. Ward was having the dream Wimbledon run, making the third round for the first time and sealing a place in the top 100 after the conclusion of the tournament. Heading in to day six, there was still hope and possibility of an all British quarter final between Murray and Ward, especially after Rafael Nadal’s earlier exit.
However, Pospisil acted as the party pooper for British hopes. The Canadian came from two sets to one down to defeat Ward 8-6 in the fifth set- The fairy tale was over.
It was Pospisil who started the strongest. The world number 56 was barely dropping a point on serve, and eventually the pressure became too much for Ward. A single break was enough for Pospisil to seal it 6-4.
In the second set the tide began to shift. Pospisil’s first serve percentage had dropped which allowed Ward to finally have a look in. The early break was exactly what the Brit needed, and all of sudden he was the one in control. Channelling the energy of the court one crowd, Ward served out the set 6-3 and went a double break up in the third. The world number 111 served it out 6-2, and the hopes of a possible Murray vs Ward quarter final increased.
However, Pospisil had other ideas. The Canadian spoiled the British party when he re-found his first serve. Once again Ward struggled to get in to the Canadian’s service games, and like in the opening set one break was enough for the 25 year old to take it 6-3.
That continued in the final set with Pospisil looking unbreakable on serve. Ward hung in there for six games, but the extra pressure eventually took its toll. The break at 6-6 was not only of the Ward serve, it was also of his resistance. The Canadian served out the match to end the James Ward Wimbledon story.
Ward can still look at his efforts and consider his tournament a huge success. He will be disappointed to let the lead slip, but overall it has been a highly successful campaign. Not only was it his best result at a grand slam, he has also broke the top 100 for the first time which could earn him direct entry in to the US Open. We will no doubt see Ward again as he bids for more Davis Cup magic against France later this month.
As for Murray, he will look ahead to manic Monday where he faces a giant challenge in chopping down the huge serve of 6’11 Ivo Karlovic. The Croatian defeated Jo Wilfried Tsonga in four sets, but his victory was tainted in controversy. In a fourth set tiebreak, Karlovic appeared to hit the ball twice set point down. Needless to say it went un-noticed by the umpire, and the 23rd seed went on to secure the match a few points later.
All British hopes now rest with Murray who is the Brit standing in the singles. All the other British men and women have failed to make the second week.
Murray will play Karlovic on manic Monday. You can follow the British number one’s progress on our live scoring service: Live Scores