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June 11, 2011

James Ward


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What sort of feeling have you got? Is it satisfaction of having got this far or deflation of not going a bit further?
JAMES WARD: Obviously a little bit disappointed, you know. It's not nice to lose any time. Doesn't matter if it's to a top player or not so highly ranked.
Obviously it's been a great week for me, and I hope to push on from here and look forward to playing Eastbourne next week.

Q. The draw is already out for next week and you have Tipsarevic. How difficult is it to switch immediately into getting up and going again?
JAMES WARD: Not really, because it's only a couple of days I think before I play again. Hopefully I can play Tuesday. Gives me time to get to Eastbourne and practice there and get used to it.
No, I just look forward to playing.

Q. Presumably that's what you want to be doing week in and week out?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, of course. Who doesn't, you know? Every player wants the same thing. That's why it's so tough to get to the top.

Q. How close were you to pulling it off today in that second set, do you think?
JAMES WARD: I had set point, so I think quite close. But he's where he is for a reason. He has a big second serve. It was a risk. He took the risk and it came off for him. I didn't expect that and it was just too good from him today.

Q. The crowd really got behind you this week. Can you talk about your entire experience through the week?
JAMES WARD: It's been amazing. It's been great. It's been great to have all the fans cheering for me this week. Obviously being at home in London you'd expect some good support.
It was nice that it came it. You know, it wasn't just today on center. It was when I was playing on the outside courts as well. It was nice for everyone to get behind me.

Q. After a week like this, do you not only feel physically tired by mentally tired, as well?
JAMES WARD: A little bit. Obviously I'm not used to playing semifinals of an ATP. It will take a little while to sink in, you know, but it's also good that I don't have too much time before I play again against Tipsarevic in Eastbourne, so just try and keep the roll going.

Q. Have you looked more long term than the grass? I mean, everyone says he's got to follow this up. Where do you intend to follow it up after Davis Cup?
JAMES WARD: I don't know the calendar yet until after Davis Cup. I have only sort of planned until then.
It just depends. Depends on my ranking. A lot can change. If my ranking goes up I will start to play different tournaments. Obviously with my confidence, how it is at the moment, maybe start to play some of the bigger tournaments every week. It's where the bigger points are, and now I know that I can do it.

Q. Is there anything in your game that -- these last few days you served really, really well. Are there any areas you feel you still really need to step up on?
JAMES WARD: Obviously I've improved my serve a lot, even recently.
Improvements? I think everything can improve. You know, even the serve can improve today. At crucial times you need to be putting in first serves and sometimes it didn't happen. It's very small margins against top players, so obviously you keep working hard and I move on to the next week.

Q. You had the Prime Minister, David Cameron, here watching you this week. Have you had any messages or phone calls from any other...
JAMES WARD: No, I haven't; if I'm honest, no.

Q. You had a lot of friends and family here today?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, everyone was here. All the family got behind me and supported me. It was obviously nice what everyone else did, as well.

Q. And going to Wimbledon, as well?
JAMES WARD: Wimbledon is a bit more difficult than here. You never know. People here have been great. The tournament, the organization, everything's been unbelievable and looked after me very well. Hopefully the same at Wimbledon.

Q. You've got another week before, but are you going into Wimbledon with a little bit more expectation?
JAMES WARD: I don't know about expectation. My ranking is still going to go to about 175, I think. Realistically I really shouldn't be playing Wimbledon at that ranking.
It's obviously a bonus to be playing and get a wildcard there and just obviously concentrate on next week before I start thinking about Wimbledon.

Q. Do you think your life generally will change a lot, or will you just carry on as you have been improving?
JAMES WARD: Just keep my head down, keep things in perspective, you know. I've made one semifinal of an ATP. I haven't gone and won the Masters or won Wimbledon. I have to keep things in perspective. And I have good people around me, so I'm sure I won't get too carried away.

Q. How good do you think you could be?
JAMES WARD: Very good. (Smiling.)
Yeah, why not? You know, I beat top players this week. It wasn't expected, but I always knew I could do it. Sometimes it does take a little while to come out.
There are guys who stop playing their best tennis when they're 18, 19, 20, and there's other guys from 24, 25, 26. If you look at the average age in the top 100, it's around 26.
So I think it's different these days. You know, there are so many good players. Hopefully I can finish in the top 100 by the end of the year. It would be nice.

Q. Regarding Wimbledon, did you watch the Mahut/Isner match last year? When they went past the six hours you had previously played, what did you think?
JAMES WARD: Didn't bother me at all, if I'm honest. It was obviously a great match, but I didn't think about my match from before.

Q. Do you think you could have lasted 11 hours?
JAMES WARD: Well, 11 hours, maybe not, but it was spread over a few days. The points weren't exactly very long with those two serving. But obviously they both play great tennis. I think it was a bit of a one-off. It's not something that's going to happen again any time soon.

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