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Roehampton | Ward takes over Willis’ fairy tale mantle

Roehampton | Ward takes over Willis’ fairy tale mantle
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Marcus Willis’s Wimbledon fairy tale came to an end on the courts of Roehampton when he failed to get past world No119 Illya Marchenko in the qualifying round for the main draw.

Yeah it’s true – I only just heard when I came off that he had lost. What a story that was. Let’s see what happens this year

Alexander Ward

However, Britain’s Alexander Ward, the world No855 is set to pick up the baton as he qualified by upsetting Russia’s world No176 Teymurar Gabashvili 6-7(3) 6-47-6(6) 6-1.

Ward, the British No19, was delighted at his achievement having been side-lined last year for six months with a wrist injury and had lost in the pre-qualifying event.

On learning that Willis had failed in his bid to make the main darw for a second consecutive year, he said: “Yeah it’s true – I only just heard when I came off that he had lost. What a story that was. Let’s see what happens this year.”

Willis had struggled in his match with a knee injury as he lost 6-4 6-1 7-6.

Ward, a 27-year-old from Northampton and is now guaranteed £35,000 as a first round loser, was delighted that he was the only Briton to make the main draw this year.

“It feels incredible to be honest. I had never won a match in Wimbledon qualifying before this year. I had lost four times. It feels amazing, pretty unbelievable to be honest. I am still struggling to get my head round it,” he said.

And when asked if he would prefer a toughmatch like Roger Federer or a more winnable one, he added: “The way I am playing it would be great to have a shot at it.”


About The Author

Henry Wancke

Henry Wancke is one of the most respected Tennis writers in the UK. Henry is the Editor of both Tennis Threads Magazine and He previously worked as Editor of Tennis World, Serve & Volley as well as Tennis Today magazines and been stringer for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Press Association. He also co-authored the Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Tennis with John Parsons published by Carlton, and the Federation Cup – the first 32 years, published by the ITF. Currently he is the Secretary of the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association and Hon Vice President of the Tennis Industry Association UK.

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