• Wimbledon

Ward eyeing Arsenal reward

ESPN staff
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James Ward made it into the second round at Wimbledon © PA Photos
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James Ward is hopeful of being able to afford his season ticket to Arsenal once again following his first round Wimbledon win at this year's competition.

The Brit sold his ticket because he was unable to bear the cost of remaining a loyal supporter, but the £23,125 windfall he will receive after beating Pablo Andujar means he can now entertain the prospect of attending the Emirates once more.

"I think I sold [the tickets] today," said Ward in the Telegraph following his result on Tuesday. "Bit of a nightmare. I can probably afford it now. It's expensive: Arsenal is the most expensive season ticket there is and now I might see if I can get them back.

"It's £1,300 a ticket, and the problem for me is, if I'm travelling so much, I can only go to six, eight games a season, max."

Ward overcame Andujar 3-6 6-0 3-6 6-4 6-4 in an epic encounter which lasted more than three hours, and now faces American Mardy Fish in the next round.

"I didn't think I was dead," said Ward, who was three games down in the final set before overcoming his opponent. "It was only a break, and you saw from the first game of the match I had [chances] on every single one of his service games. So I always knew if I kept to my own serve and I started serving a bit smarter towards the end of the match I mixed it up a bit more to his body and forehand and then I got a few more free points."

Ward entered this year's Wimbledon ranked 173rd in the men's world standings, but it is a classification he does not believe is fair.

"I don't deserve to be 170," he said. "My level of tennis at the moment is top 100 and it has been for a few months. People around me are telling me, 'You're not too far away, you've got to keep going.' It's not easy."

The British No. 2 also missed out on a wild card draw for London 2012, about which he added: "It would have been great to be playing the home Olympics in London. It's once in a lifetime really. Being from London and obviously now playing well at Wimbledon it would have been great to play again here in a few weeks' time."

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