British pair through to quarters in Manchester

British pair James Ward and Alexander Ward both overcame higher ranked opponents to reach the quarter-finals of the Aegon Manchester Trophy at the Northern Club today.

Davis Cup champion James Ward put in a fine performance to beat fifth seed Benjamin Becker 63 64.  Ward dealt with Becker’s strong serve, returning well and looking sharp on the grass courts in Manchester.

“He’s got a big serve and he was serving really well at the beginning of the match so I’m pleased to have played well.  It was tough conditions on the court, the ball was bouncing up all over the place and there were some bad bounces for both of us!  It became about the serve and serving well, keeping the rallies short and sweet.”

Ward added: “It’s a tough draw but it’s great practice for us on the grass ahead of Queen’s and Wimbledon.”

Ward will face Dustin Brown in tomorrow’s quarter final, the German has been delighting the Manchester crowd with his entertaining style and continued his good form after overcoming compatriot Mischa Zverev 63 26 75.  After a successful run in qualifying at Roland Garros, Brown explained that he was feeling confident ahead of the grass court season.

“I’m happy and my serve is helping a lot, I have confidence in my serve at the moment.  Mischa and I had a tight one at the beginning of the year, I felt good in the first set and got an early break which helps but then his returning got so much stronger and I was struggling a little bit in the second.  It was important to keep calm and keep playing and take my chances in the third.  Of course knowing that I’ve been winning matches and winning close ones helps with the confidence,” commented Brown.

Northampton’s Alexander Ward also secured his quarter final place after coming back from a set down against German Michael Berrer to win 46 64 63.

Friday’s quarter-finals see James Ward take on Dustin Brown, whilst fellow Briton Alex Ward will face Peter Gojowczyk. Defending champion Sam Groth will take on the number one seed Denis Kudla in what should be a tight encounter.

Photo credit Tom Flathers

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