James Ward’s Wimbledon adventure finally came to an end in the most heartbreaking of fashions as he lost a marathon five-set thriller to Vasek Pospisil.
And Ward admits that it was the Canadian’s big serve holding firm under pressure that was the primary cause of his third-round exit.
The Brit had the world no.56 on the ropes as his own seemingly impenetrable serve helped build a two sets to one lead but Pospisil fired back to emerge triumphant 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 8-6 in just over three hours.
As in his victories over Luca Vanni and Jiri Vesely, Ward once again looked at home on the biggest stage but the 28-year-old admits the pain of defeat is still too strong to reflect on the myriad positives of his displays in SW19.
“Right now isn’t the time to look at the positives but I’m sure I’ll look back, get ready for the Davis Cup next, pick myself up and go again there,” said Ward, who will climb into the world’s top 100 for the first time following his run at Wimbledon.
“I’ve got mixed emotions because I didn’t play to the best of my ability. I gave myself a chance and put myself two sets to one up though.
“I served well but he also served well towards the end and I think that was the difference.”
Ward and Pospisil traded the first two sets with just a single break in each but when the home favourite secured a double break to take the third 6-2, things were looking rosy.
The current world no.111 has never reached the second week of a Grand Slam but must still have had hopes of doing so even once Pospisil held firm to take the fourth set 6-3.
With nothing to choose between the pair for the first 12 games of the final set, it was Ward who eventually cracked in game 13 however – losing his serve on a second break point before the Canadian served out to book a last 16 clash with Viktor Troicki.
The Brit will now turn his attention to a mouth-watering Davis Cup quarter-final clash with France at Queen’s Club starting on July 17, where Great Britain will try to reach the World Group semi-finals for the first time since 1981.
But for the time being, Ward was left to rue a swing in momentum at the end of the third set against Pospisil that ended his Wimbledon campaign for another year.
“He lifted [in the fourth set] and you’ve got to give credit to him because he played really well,” added Ward.
“He served very well, kept himself in it with that whereas the points that went a few rallies, it was me who was coming out on top.
“But he served well and well done to him.”
© Sportsbeat 2015