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July 2, 2015

James Ward


J. WARD/J. Vesely
6‑2, 7‑6, 3‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ What pleased you most today?
JAMES WARD:テつ After playing an average third set, to bounce back and come through with a win.テつ Yeah, it shows a lot of character and I was happy with that.

Q.テつ You looked very relaxed.テつ Were you?
JAMES WARD:テつ Maybe not as much as I looked.テつ Definitely not in the fourth set when I held a couple of tough games.テつ Yeah, it was some tough times.
But, yeah, as I say, look, I'm just happy I got through it.

Q.テつ Can you describe your emotions on getting through to the third round for the first time.
JAMES WARD:テつ It's great.テつ Obviously ranking goes up.テつ Into third round of Wimbledon, I can't ask for anything more at the moment.テつ Still playing this tournament and looking to win another match on Saturday.

Q.テつ You could see in the final point, you gave a yell.テつ What was going through your mind in that moment when it's still really fresh?
JAMES WARD:テつ I don't know really.テつ It's tough to explain.テつ A lot of relief.テつ As I say, those last three service games in that set were tough.テつ He didn't miss too many balls.テつ He made a lot of returns, put the pressure on to make sure that he didn't give it to me easy.テつ He held his serve pretty comfortably in the last couple games, as well.
I guess a little bit of relief and just obviously happy that I've reached the third round for the first time.テつ Yeah, onwards and upwards.

Q.テつ That win should put you inside the world's top 90.テつ How important is it to crack the top 100?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, obviously is.テつ It's something you work for throughout your whole career.テつ As I said the other day, probably with that last win, it just squeezed me inside.テつ Now with the one today, it definitely put me in there.テつ It's pleasing, something to look to build on.

Q.テつ This is the first time since 1999 that UK tennis has had three British players in the third round.テつ Are we getting better as a nation?
JAMES WARD:テつ Obviously, if that's the stat.
Yeah, as I say, everyone is playing well.テつ Andy is doing great.テつ Heather played really well yesterday.テつ Yeah, I played well today.テつ As I say, hopefully we'll keep it going this week.

Q.テつ You played so well in the Davis Cup recently.テつ Do you feel you've managed to transfer that form now to Wimbledon?テつ Can you take a bit of the spotlight off of Andy Murray and help him?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, of course.テつ It's always good to help, if that's what he needs (smiling).
Yeah, he deals with it great.テつ It's a new thing for me, so we'll just deal with it as it comes, just get ready for the next match on Saturday.

Q.テつ You said in the flash interview, it would get a few people off your back.テつ Does it prove a point?テつ Maybe levels things out?
JAMES WARD:テつ A little bit.テつ As I said the other day, look, the last couple months, having a few injuries where most people didn't really know that that was the case.テつ Sometimes it's frustrating.テつ You don't always want to come out and say it because you want to keep playing.テつ You don't want to give away too much away to other coaches and players in locker rooms.
Obviously, a lot of stuff gets written about you in the press, why couldn't you win in Davis Cup, why can't you win every other week.テつ It's not as easy as that.テつ There's a lot of good players out there and everyone is trying to do well.
Look, I'm just happy with this week and, as I say, look to try to carry it on for the rest of the year, as well.

Q.テつ Clearly the money is not your motivation.テつ Going forward for the next 12 months, does the prize money give you some surety that will give you confidence for the next year going ahead?
JAMES WARD:テつ Everyone's got bills to pay.テつ I'm no different to anyone else in this tournament who is in this position.
Yeah, it's not really something I've thinking about.テつ As you say, I'm not that sort of person.テつ More worried about my ranking and achieving my goals than the prize money.

Q.テつ Can you identify a particular shot in today's victory that most pleased you?
JAMES WARD:テつ Difficult.テつ I think I returned pretty well throughout the whole match.テつ Created a lot of opportunities, even though I didn't take a few of them in the third, and a couple points in the fourth.
But, yeah, I was happy with that.

Q.テつ Playing this well, do you feel your still the second best player in the country behind Andy?
JAMES WARD:テつ Uhm, yeah, of course.テつ Look, it's something that I've had for a few years now.テつ It didn't really change much for me.テつ Being No. 2 doesn't really change your life too much in this country.
So, yeah, as I say, 2, 3, 4, it's going to be difficult to get to 1 the way Andy's playing.
But, yes, it's something I'll obviously try and do.

Q.テつ What do you know about Pospisil?
JAMES WARD:テつ I know him pretty well.テつ He's a good friend of mine actually.テつ We spend a lot of time together.テつ In the last few years, we've played a couple of times as well in the challenger tour, a couple bigger matches in the semis and finals in the past.
We both know each other's games, so there's not too many secrets.テつ As I say, look, it's a great chance for both of us.

Q.テつ Do you still live in the flat?

Q.テつ Have you got a house in sight?テつ Maybe the money will help.
JAMES WARD:テつ As I say, look, I'm not too worried about the money at the moment.テつ If I'm going to move, if I'm not going to move.テつ I'm happy where I'm living.テつ We'll leave it like that.

Q.テつ How much does having an elite player like Andy lift up the other British players if it's just from hitting with him...
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, of course, it does.テつ It's always a good help spending time with him at Davis Cup and off‑season as well, which I've been lucky enough to do.テつ Good habits rub off on you if you spend enough time around someone.
He's been a big help to me and I'm grateful for that.テつ Look, as I say, keep doing what I'm doing, keep learning from him.

Q.テつ The new LTA funding plan means there's less direct funding for players outside of the top 100.テつ Does that create pressure for you and for players lower ranked than you that you might lose money?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, but there's a lot of foreigners who are losing money as well.テつ Not just British players.テつ It's no secret that the money is not great in tennis compared to most other sports.テつ It's in the Grand Slams where you need to do well and you earn money.テつ I think it's right.テつ You play best of five sets and you deserve the bigger paycheck because you're putting a lot of work in.
The challenger and future tour is something that the ATP and the board is trying to work on, trying to get more money, which is great for the players.
As I say, it's the same for everyone.テつ It's not just a British issue, it's the same for everyone.

Q.テつ Is winning back‑to‑back games at Wimbledon the equivalent of Arsenal winning back‑to‑back FA cups?テつ What would winning in the third round represent?
JAMES WARD:テつ Winning third round would probably be like Arsenal winning the league next year, to be honest.テつ After that, we start thinking about Champions League finals.テつ Let's think about Saturday first.

Q.テつ I understand your dad was watching today.テつ What influence has he been on your career?
JAMES WARD:テつ Just a great support, you know.テつ A lot of people have met my dad throughout the years.テつ Everyone loves him.テつ He's always there to support.テつ Yeah, I just can't thank him enough really.

Q.テつ You were talking about your goals.テつ What are they?
JAMES WARD:テつ Well, I don't really want to give too many away.テつ They're private goals set.テつ If you come out and say it in this sort of arena, then you're only going to get shot down, especially in this country.
But, look, it's a good week so far.テつ Let's keep the ball rolling.テつ And as I say, after that we've got Davis Cup and bigger things in the U.S. summer to look forward to, as well.テつ Just keep building, putting points on the board, see where I end up at the end of the year.

Q.テつ If I'm not mistaken, a couple years ago you were telling us your dad is a cabbie and he drove you to matches.テつ Same routine this morning?
JAMES WARD:テつ No, I think that's been made up every year.テつ Everyone thinks that.
No, he's never driven me to Wimbledon, not one day, for practice or matches or anything.テつ He's working.
Sorry, that's not true (laughter).

Q.テつ You said earlier how Andy has been a big help to you.テつ What sort of specific things or advice has he given you?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, he's just a good friend above all.テつ We get on really well.テつ We have a lot of the same interests as well outside of tennis.
He's always there supporting, he's always watching matches.テつ A lot of you guys know that he follows live streams of challengers, is always there to send you a message when you've done well, or pick you up when you need a bit of support.
A lot of stuff that he does and says really doesn't get reported that much.テつ As I said, look, for few of us, it's nice to have that support from such a great player.

Q.テつ Saturday is going to be something pretty special for British tennis.テつ What is it going to be like to be a part of that?
JAMES WARD:テつ Of course, look, everyone is concentrating on their own thing.テつ It's great for British tennis and it's great for everyone involved that more people are winning matches and doing well.
As I say, I've got to worry about my match.テつ Andy worries about his.テつ Aljaz worries about his as well.テつ We've got one at a time.テつ See if we can all get past the next round, as well.

Q.テつ Aljaz was saying after the match the other day that his British status could help all the British players improve.テつ Can you draw each others on?
JAMES WARD:テつ I think that happens in any country.テつ The more top players you got, it has a knock‑on effect to everyone else.テつ I don't think he'll be any different.

Q.テつ You talked about players can get shot down in this country.
JAMES WARD:テつ We'll see if that makes the headline tomorrow, but let's hope not.
Go on.

Q.テつ Do you think the pressure on players in the UK is unrealistic?
JAMES WARD:テつ It's difficult because, look, I don't know if we are or are one‑off the richest nations.テつ People expect better results, as we all do.テつ But it's not for a lack of trying.テつ I know for myself and a lot of players who you see practicing all year round.
Everyone is training as hard as the other guys, but maybe just not getting the results for whatever reason.テつ It's not for me to go into, and definitely not at the moment.
As I say, look, if everyone keeps pushing on and doing well, then that attitude will maybe change around a little bit.

Q.テつ The committee obviously thinking about putting you on Centre or No.1 on Saturday.テつ How big a deal would that be for you?テつ Would it create extra challenges?
JAMES WARD:テつ It would be an honor really because as an English boy you grow up thinking about playing on Centre Court.テつ It would be the ultimate.
But, yeah, there's no pressure involved in the club.テつ Any court here is special.テつ The support's been great on every court, on Court 12 and Court2 today.テつ We'll see what happens on Saturday.

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