By Philip James
James Ward (Q) def Danilo Petrovic 0-6, 7-6(5), 6-0; China
Jamie Delgado/Andreas Siljestrom (2) def Flavio Cipolla/Alessio Di Mauro 6-2, 6-2; Tunisia
British-number-two James Ward fought back to win an amazing match in China today while Jamie Delgado reached the doubles final at the Tunis Open.
In a match of three drastically different sets, 26-year-old Ward emerged victorious over Serbian Danilo Petrovic to reach the semi-final of the clay-court Challenger tournament in An-ning.
The win looked extremely unlikely when 461st–ranked Petrovic ‘bageled’ Ward in the first set in just 17 minutes, with the Brit winning a mere five points.
Ward won his first game of the match to start the second set, holding to love and the set continued on serve until 3-4, with each man holding with relative ease.
Ward, ranked 261, then made his first inroads into his opponents serve reaching 0-40 but could not take any of the four break points he created.
The missed opportunities looked like they might prove costly as Petrovic then broke the Londoner immediately with his first and only break point of the set.
But Ward seemed to have found the measure of his opponent’s serve and forced 15-40 as the Serb served for the match, and this time he made no mistake, taking the first break back point.
A hold a piece led quickly to a tie-break and despite being down a mini-break early, Ward hit back to go up 6-5 and took the second set with his fifth ace of the set.
From there the tie went full circle and while Ward did not dominate the third set in quite the way Petrovic did the first but he still returned the bagel to win the match 0-6, 7-6(5) 6-0 in an hour and 35 minutes.
Ward, who had to win two rounds of qualifying to make the main draw, plays Tsung-Hua Yang of Chinese Taipei, ranked 7 places below Ward, tomorrow for a place in the final.
Later in the day in Tunisia, Delgado and his partner, Swede Andreas Siljestrom, enjoyed a much more straight forward victory, winning 6-2 6-2 over Flavio Cipolla and Alessio Di Mauro.