David Ferrer withdrawal means James Ward can go on good run
While the withdrawal from Wimbledon of David Ferrer was a hit to fans of the Spaniard, players in his section of the draw will be delighted, particularly his original opponent James Ward of Great Britain.
The world number seven injured his elbow, meaning that he would not be taking part at the SW19 event for the first time since 2003 and, having reached the quarters here twice (in 2012 and 2013), it means that others can thrive in his absence.
Odds on winning the third quarter, that featured the likes of Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will have certainly shifted as a result. Trying to predict results in tennis has something in common with Forex trading.
It is virtually non-existent that British men, besides Murray, reach the latter stages of any Grand Slam in recent years, but London-born Ward has as good a chance as any this time out as his run to the fourth round looks very achievable.
Lucky loser Luca Vanni has stepped in Ferrer’s shoes to take on Ward, who was a Davis Cup hero for his nation against the USA recently, and the Brit will be pleased given that he has already beaten him with ease in their only meeting.
Although Ward has only reached the Wimbledon econd round once in his career, in 2012, he is now the odds-on favourite with Coral to progress to that stage. His potential next opponent, meanwhile, is one of Jiri Vesely and Paolo Lorenzi (he has beaten the latter before).
Following that, clay court specialist Fabio Fognini is the likely challenger in the third round and, with the home crowd behind him, he can certainly test the Italian.
Two-time champion Rafael Nadal is set to stand in anyone’s way in the fourth round, but the Spaniard has not been in great form this year, and not got past the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011. Others that can upset leading up to that stage include Viktor Troicki and veteran Radek Stepanek, again players that Ward can beat on his day.
If the remarkable does happen, and Ward gets through to the quarters, he would most likely set up a date with 2013 champion Murray. It would be a match that Wimbledon fans have been waiting for in a long time; a clash in the latter rounds between two Brits.
Ward faces Vanni on day two of the event on Tuesday, June 30th and you can follow up-to-date results and other news on many sites.