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AEGON CHAMPIONSHIPS


June 15, 2015


James Ward


LONDON, ENGLAND

M. RAONIC/J. Ward
5‑7, 6‑3, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Obviously after winning the first set, what positives can you take from this match today?
JAMES WARD:テつ A lot of positives.テつ I played really well for the first set and a half, probably two sets.テつ Maybe dropped off a little bit in the beginning of the third, which gave him a bit of extra confidence and he was serving well throughout.
At the beginning, I felt like I got more of a read on it, but once he gets a bit confident and he starts putting it in the spot he wants, he served really well in the third.

Q.テつ Looking ahead, of course, Wimbledon, Davis Cup, what do you take out of this match against such a big server?
JAMES WARD:テつ Well, a lot.テつ You're not going to face anyone who's got a serve like that, unless I play Isner again, which I can't.テつ Just an absolute rocket he's got.テつ Great serve.
Even when you get a couple of points in his service game you're still not favored to win the game.テつ It's not like he pushes the second serve.テつ He's still got a pretty big second.テつ You saw him going for it today.
Makes a couple of mistakes but not really at times where they help you out.テつ He's not serving a double fault at deuce or 30‑All.
But, yeah, look, I thought I did all right.テつ I have seen higher‑ranked players not get close to that serve and I gave myself a chance.テつ I had a chance in the second as well.テつ So maybe at 15‑40, if I maybe had been a bit of a different person and maybe would have hit straight at him, that short backhand I had, try to take his head off, maybe other people would have done it at 15‑40, it's a different game.テつ But I didn't.
Also, if he guessed the other way and there are so many ifs and buts, came off the frame of his racquet, just went over.テつ It happens.
But, yeah, I gave myself a chance, and, yeah, hopefully another day it will pay off.

Q.テつ Are you just not the kind of guy that can drill the somebody like that?
JAMES WARD:テつ I haven't seen many people, Barry, hit a guy full on in the face, to be honest.テつ I don't know if you have.
I'm not sure we watch the same amount of tennis, but it's just difficult.テつ You have a guy standing there.テつ If he ducks, you have hit the ball long because he's not a small boy.
Yeah, it's difficult.テつ Look, there are always ifs and buts.テつ If I went cross, I win the point.テつ If I went back line, he stayed there, he could have easily moved.テつ Came off the frame of his racquet, goes over.テつ There is a small chance.
Even at 15‑40 there is no guarantee I win the game.テつ If he served two bombs again, what would you do then?テつ I wouldn't even be talking about the game.
Yeah, as I say, I tried to give myself as many chances as possible.テつ He came up with a big serve at the right times.

Q.テつ I'm just wondering, day one of the tournament, the court is still a bit lush.テつ He suffered that fall at Wimbledon a few years ago, he admits he's still not that confident moving on the grass.テつ Was it a tactic of yours to move him about?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah.テつ When you can get the ball in play, yeah (smiling).テつ It's not easy to return that serve.
It's about getting the ball back in the court and then trying to direct it somewhere, you know.テつ Even when you just get it back, he's got a big forehand.テつ He doesn't usually have to move a lot, anyway, with his style of play.テつ You see on his returns.テつ He's just smacking every ball.テつ Sometimes it goes in the net, sometimes it can go winner.
You don't really get too much of a rhythm.テつ He's not one of those guys, especially on this surface‑‑ maybe on a hard court or clay court you can get into the rally a bit more and try and move him around.テつ On a grass court, the ball stays so low and it's fast, and it's difficult to get any rallies going.

Q.テつ Is it even harder than Isner's?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, he's a harder server.テつ Isner I think, because it's coming from a bit of a taller height, it bounces a bit more.
Yeah, I think he gets a better angle on the ball.テつ Milos has the power on the ball.テつ It comes through really fast.テつ It's a tough serve to return.

Q.テつ Do you think your shirt and socks would go well with Stan's shorts?
JAMES WARD:テつ They probably would do, yeah (smiling).テつ Yeah, I started wearing this stuff at the beginning of the year.テつ It's good, you know.テつ Makes people talk about it like you're asking questions about it now.
It's a good thing.テつ It makes it a bit unique.テつ No one else is wearing the clothes, and, yeah, it's stylish stuff.

Q.テつ How are you doing physically?テつ We heard you had a foot issue.
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, I feel a lot better.テつ I moved all right out there.テつ As I say, there wasn't many points you have to run side to side, because both of us served pretty well throughout.
Yeah, I feel all right.テつ Not too bad.テつ I have been struggling a little bit the last few weeks.テつ As I said, maybe ideally I wouldn't have played as much as I have.テつ But, yeah.テつ You can always look back on things and change it.テつ Doing the right work now with the physio and stuff, so yeah, things are looking up.

Q.テつ What are you doing the next 10 days or so?
JAMES WARD:テつ Nottingham next week.テつ Don't know whether it's a Monday/Tuesday start.テつ Find out later on in the week.テつ I guess depends on the draw a little bit.
But, yeah, just practice.テつ Practice, get back on it tomorrow.
I don't know.テつ Try and work on a couple of things that maybe I need to improve on.テつ But as I say, look, I played a guy who is top 10 in the world and was pretty much on top of it if you look at the stats, as well.
Even till 4‑1 in the third set, I think I was still on top of him stat‑wise, which isn't always ‑‑it's not great.テつ I'd prefer to be 4‑1 up in the third rather than be up in the stats.テつ It gives me a bit of confidence going forward in the next couple of weeks.

Q.テつ Kyle is injured just now, but depending on whether he comes back next week or not, do you feel this period is an important time of year for a British player and also a selection period for the Davis Cup tie next month?
JAMES WARD:テつ Not really, no, because I won an unbelievable match in the last tie that we wouldn't be where we are if I didn't.
You know, I think Leon knows that.テつ And especially on a surface like this, grass, played well in the past, played well again today.
We are not talking about a guy ranked 100 in the world or 50.テつ We are talking about a guy, top 10, which all of you know is a bit different.
As I say, look, I was on top of him.テつ Whether we play Gasquet, Tsonga, Monfils, whoever, myself on grass, especially here at Queen's, I'm pretty confident I will play.テつ And as I say, next couple of weeks, I will give myself a best opportunity, too, try and get some wins.テつ You don't want to face Milos every week.

Q.テつ Obviously it's a 500 tournament now.
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ In terms of the draw, it looks exciting.テつ Is there any down side in that for the players?テつ Because obviously you can be up against a top‑10 player like that fairly often.テつ No momentum into it, is there?
JAMES WARD:テつ It's luck of the draw.テつ And any time you're playing big tournaments, I don't think I have ever played a guy ranked outside of the top 50 in any slam main draw, any 500, any Masters Series I've played at the end of the year when I passed quallies, playing always top players and maybe guys who are mostly seeded.
It's tough shit.テつ Try and deal with it and hope that one day you get a bit of a better draw and maybe sneak into the tournament a little bit further, win a couple of matches.テつ Then it's a bit different.
But playing a guy like that, doesn't matter he's been out a couple of weeks, you saw today his serve hasn't changed whether he has a foot injury or not.テつ And, yeah, it's not easy.テつ The guy made semis at Wimbledon.テつ He obviously likes the grass.テつ Whether he thinks he can move on it or not, I think he's doing all right.

Q.テつ Do you think because it's Wimbledon coming up, do you think the media is very critical of tennis?テつ Do you think it's a fair thing to say?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, all of you are a rough bunch (laughter).テつ But I think you all know that.テつ You know, every other player jokes about it, you know, how tough it is over here with the media.
But, look, it's maybe rightly so.テつ As you said, we have some of the greatest practice facilities and what have you, but we are not going to go into that at the moment, about who gets what and whatever.
But, yeah, look, rightly so.テつ You guys can judge, but I also, I think, you know, people need to be fair, as well.テつ When you see you're playing a guy ranked third in the tournament here with such a strong field, playing three sets against a guy like that, I don't think it's such a bad effort.
He could have played any of the other guys and turned them over in two sets and people would be seeing it as a normal thing.
So, yeah.テつ I'm relatively happy with my performance today.テつ Obviously would have liked to have played a little bit better in the third set.テつ But, yeah, he keeps a high level throughout the match rather than just the first two sets.

Q.テつ Are you more confident or less confident going into Wimbledon?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, more confident.テつ As I say, look, it doesn't matter who I play at Wimbledon.テつ I'm sure I will play a top 10, but a day like today can only help.テつ It's not negative.
Obviously a negative because you don't get the points and don't go through to the next round and don't play another match here in a place, yeah, I love playing.テつ But as I say, it's luck of the draw and I move on to Nottingham and get ready for the big one after that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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