James Ward, Britain’s number 2 tennis player behind Andy Murray, secured a fantastic victory in the Davis Cup in Glasgow last week, beating the giant 6′ 10″American John Isner in a gripping 5 set match in the Emirates Arena. What made James’s performance even more extraordinary was the fact that he came back from 2 sets down (7-6, 7-5).
North London boy James Ward was born in 1987, and first took up a tennis aged 11. He turned pro in 2006. Fast forward to today’s 28 year old, ranked 111 in the world, and knocking on the door of the top 100. His aim, he says, is to be in the top 60 come Wimbledon this summer.
Like many top players, James Ward trained in Spain, home to most of Europe’s top tennis academies. He spent 4 years in Villena at the Equelite Juan Carlos Ferrero Academy, where he honed his favourite shot, the 2 handed topspin backhand drive. His favourite surface is clay.
James has also spent time at London’s premier tennis academy in Roehampton, and now lives full time again in London, where he gets to follow his favourite team Arsenal. For Andy Murray, boxing is the spectator sport of choice; for James it’s football.
Career highlights to date include an epic play-off match for the 2009 Davis Cup vs Ukraine against fellow Brit Chris Eaton. This turned into one of the longest ever matches in tennis history: 6 hours 40 minutes. James lost.
However, James Ward went on to reach the 1st round of the Australian Open grand slam in 2012, and the 2nd round of Wimbledon in the same year.
In 2014 James reached the 1st round of the French Open, on his favourite surface, clay. And in 2015 he reached the 1st round of the Australian Open for a second time.
At 6’3″ and 72kg, James has the wingspan to reach wide balls, and the low-body fat to give him speed around the court. With Australian coach Darren Tandy in his corner, he his tipped to do great things in 2015. London tennis star James Ward is one to watch.
Dominic Londesborough, author of this blog and founder of Fitness4London.com, is a personal trainer in London and keen tennis player.