Ward and Watson make French Open main draw

24 May 2014 / 12:10

James Ward and Heather Watson will join Andy Murray in the main draw of the French Open after the pair came through their third-round qualifying matches.

Ward became the first British man in more than 40 years to progress from qualifying to the first round proper in Paris after beating Blaz Rola of Slovenia.

The 27-year-old was ranked 75 places below world number 94 Rola but came through in 4-6, 6-4, 12-10 on Friday to match the achievement of John Lloyd in 1973.

The British number three saved two match points before eventually taking victory in a marathon 101-minute decider.

"I was obviously not thinking good thoughts at that point,” said Ward.

"He stepped up and made a couple of good returns - they weren't really my mistakes - but I dug in and played a couple of good points to get back.

“It's massive because it's a Grand Slam. It's the reason you play tennis. It's special.”

British number two Watson made the main draw of the French Open, which begins on Sunday, in contrasting fashion, brushing aside Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in straight sets.

The 22-year-old needed just 48 minutes to wrap up the 6-1, 6-1 win on Saturday morning and continue her recent run of form following last week’s Prague Open title.

"Winning is a habit they say," she said. "I'm just taking advantage of how much I'm enjoying it, fighting, being healthy and just using that every day to play the best I can."

Fellow Brit Johanna Konta missed out, losing 6-7, 7-5, 6-0 to Ukrainian Yuliya Beygelzimer. 

© Sportsbeat 2014