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May 26, 2014

James Ward


4‑6, 6‑4, 6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English, please.

Q.テつ How many positives can you take out of that despite the defeat with how we would well you played at times?テつ In periods?
JAMES WARD:テつ At times I thought I played...

Q.テつ Long periods.
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, I was going to say.テつ No, I thought I played really well throughout the whole match.テつ A little dip first couple of points in the second set, and then in the third I thought he really controlled the game.テつ His forehand was really going off the court.テつ It was tough, heavy conditions.テつ It was raining.テつ Slower.テつ It was very difficult.テつ He moves very well.
But I fought hard, got back into the match, and, again, had a couple chances sort of in the fourth.テつ He's one of the toughest players to play on clay in the world.テつ I put him up there top 5 in the last ten years, so pleased with my efforts.
Hopefully take this sort of form on to the next few weeks.

Q.テつ Rain delay after the first set.テつ Your momentum was going nicely then.テつ Just kind of at the wrong time, I guess.
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, as I say, look, it was a couple points, then it was 6‑4 the next set and I had a couple chances to break back again in that set.テつ Not necessarily breakpoints, but six out of seven games on his serve I was at 30‑all.テつ Yeah, missed chances.
Maybe on another day it was a little bit different.

Q.テつ Did you think that you should have stopped for longer before the third?テつ You looked a little bit unsure about starting again when it was raining.
JAMES WARD:テつ No, it was just neither of us could see the line.テつ The guy said if you brush the lines it's going to make it more slippery, but you can't see the lines so I don't know where I am hitting the ball.
He said the same thing.テつ But there was no option.テつ If the grounds staff aren't going to brush the lines, then you've got to carry on and play.テつ It was like not really too muchto ‑‑ we couldn't do anything about it.

Q.テつ I wonder when you think you struck the ball as consistently well as you did today throughout the whole match?
JAMES WARD:テつ As I was saying, look, player of that quality, I haven't played too many of those recently.テつ I played well in quallies.テつ In that last match I thought I played really well as well.テつ I held serve ‑‑ out of 22 games in the final set and only dropped serve once each, which was a good effort in itself.
But, yeah, I've been hitting the ball well all week from the back, and it showed today against a guy who bases his game at the baseline and moving people around.
I was there with him in three out of four sets very competitive.

Q.テつ Do you feel after this you'll be hoping that you sort of forge on towards the top 100?テつ Do you feel you're sort of finally ready to make that step now?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ Look, I'm 27; I'm not 32.テつ People sometimes forget that.テつ I've had injuries in the past when I've had chances to get around 130, 140, but it's not an excuse.テつ You got to take time and work your way up there.
As I say, I got a coach now who knows the game.テつ Looking forward to working with him and seeing how the next few weeks and the rest of the year goes.

Q.テつ Did you have any friends or family out here watching you?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, my dad came over to watch, which is nice for him, especially how he's been sick again recently.テつ He's recovered well, and I was nice of him to make it out here, you know.テつ First time I played at the French and first time he had been at the French.テつ Played main draw here.テつ It was nice.
My cousin was here and a couple other friends as well.テつ It was nice.

Q.テつ Are there particular things that you've done well this week which you put down to the new coaching partnership?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ Look, I'm working on my mindset, different routines during matches, things I'm thinking about, areas I'm trying to hit the ball on the court.
So, yeah, it's a work in progress.テつ It's not going to change in a week.テつ You can see improvements already.テつ Yeah, as I say, only going to get better.

Q.テつ Dropshot early on was very good.テつ That's a real clay courter's tactic, isn't it?
JAMES WARD:テつ Yeah, of course, but he moves well.テつ Look, you can't play 30‑shot rallies every ball.テつ You have to mix it up.テつ That's just playing into his hands if you want to just stand back and push.テつ You have to mix it up and use the slice, dropshot.
It's not about winning every one of those points, but it's putting a bit of doubt in his mind so he couldn't stand ten feet behind the baseline and know that I am never going to dropshot.
So even when you do make mistakes, you have to know you're playing the right tactic.

Q.テつ What's next for you?
JAMES WARD:テつ Probably going to have a day off tomorrow and then go back to London and decide if I'm going to play Nottingham or not in the next few days, depending on what the coach wants me to do.
If he wants me to have a few more days getting ready for the grass and just go to straight to Queen's or use Nottingham for preparation, I don't know.テつ I haven't spoken to him about it yet.

Q.テつ You mentioned about your world ranking.テつ Do you have a particular target?
JAMES WARD:テつ I didn't mention about my ranking; you did.

Q.テつ When you were saying you had the chance to be 130, 140.
JAMES WARD:テつ Look, it's always a goal.テつ Everyone wants this top 100, top 100.テつ I'm aiming higher than that.テつ Obviously that's the first step.
It's not going to happen in one week.テつ Even if I made fourth round I wouldn't be top 100.テつ You got to be realistic and know that it takes a few weeks a few months to do.
But if you're consistent and winning more matches, it's going to happen eventually.

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