• Australian Open 2013

Baker and Ward on track to qualify for Australian Open

ESPN staff
January 9, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
James Ward's bid to qualify for the Australian Open for the second time in a row started with a straight sets victory © Getty Images
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Britain's Jamie Baker and James Ward both won their first round qualifying matches for the Australian Open in straight sets.

Baker, the world No. 246, beat Julio Campozano 6-3 7-5 despite hitting less winners than his opponent.

The Ecuadorian was ranked 24 places higher than the 26-year-old going into the match but the Briton showed his consistency by only making one unforced error during his one and a half hours on court.

Baker qualified for the Australian Open in 2008 and his win means he has bettered his 2007 performance when he lost his first qualifying match.

Meanwhile, Ward beat Serbia's Boris Pashanski 6-4 6-3 and hit seven aces on his way to victory.

He did drop his serve in the first set but four successful breaks ensured a comfortable passage into the second round.

The 25-year-old successfully negotiated the qualifying rounds last year for the first time and met Blaz Kavcic in the first round of the tournament proper but lost in straight sets.

His next opponent is Germany's Mischa Zverev while Baker will play Italy's Matteo Viola.

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