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July 2, 2019

James Ward

Wimbledon, London, England


2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 8-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I guess that was very close, but didn't quite get over the finish line.
JAMES WARD: Yeah, of course it was close, 8-6 in the fifth is never an easy one. It's no fun being on the wrong end of it.

But obviously I started playing really well. He made a lot of mistakes. Then it turned a little bit in the third. He started serving better, making a lot of shots.

It's difficult playing someone like that when they give you no rhythm, they go for everything. When they all start going in, it becomes tough to deal with.

It was just a good fight at the end. Could have gone either way in that fifth set when I broke back, when he served for the match the first time.

But, yeah, just a difficult one.

Q. Can you identify a particular game that you thought was the turning point?
JAMES WARD: Not really. Maybe after I broke him in the third. But I felt he played a good game. I didn't really give it to him. Then suddenly he was a lot more confident. As I say, he hits a very big ball. It's tough when it starts going in. It's difficult. Obviously he gains confidence.

Q. I guess with someone like you, 8-6 in the fifth, financially and all that kind of stuff, you're trying to rebuild your career, does that make it sort of harder to take?
JAMES WARD: Not really, because when you're playing, you're not thinking about money. You're competing and you're trying to win the match. Wimbledon is a big enough tournament that you're not really worried about the money. The money is a bonus. It's amazing, don't get me wrong.

Given the chance here, I've played here many times, I'm just trying to do my best. As I say, another five-set match, another battle that I'll look back on. Yes, just right now it's a tough one to take.

Q. What are your plans now?
JAMES WARD: I'm playing doubles here. I have no idea when that will be. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. Then after Wimbledon, head to the States, leadup to US Open quallies there.

Q. Do you feel you'll be able to look back on a couple of months, when the pain of this has subsided, with a bit more of a positive outlook?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, of course, I've been playing really well the last few weeks. That gives me confidence to beat top players. Lost to other top players in tight matches. Just got to take belief from that and realize that I'm not too far away. But, yeah, one at a time. We'll see what happens.

Q. The match against Evo now, do you think he's capable of hurting him?
JAMES WARD: Of course. We play a completely different style. Evo slices a lot, will keep the ball low. A lot of times when he goes out and plays, it's in his hands. He literally goes for every ball. If he gets on a good streak, he's very difficult to deal with. No matter who you are, he wouldn't be 16 in the world for no reason.

There's a lot of other guys that haven't coped with it. I thought I did for large parts of the match today. Yeah, just wasn't enough in the end.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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