Ward makes early Challenger exit

By Philip James

Antonio Veic 7-6(6) 6-1 James Ward

James Ward lost in the first round of the Copa Cachantun ATP Challenger tournament in Chile on Monday.

Britain’s number two ranked male player lost 7-6, 6-1 to tournament eighth seed, Antonio Veic, in an hour and fifteen minutes on the red clay courts in Santiago.

In a tight first set, Londoner Ward and Veic, ranked 127th in the world, exchanged two breaks a piece before the Croatian took the tie-break.

But in the second set Ward’s game deserted him under the pressure, making five double faults and not winning a point on return, eventually losing it 6-1.

Ward, who has a world ranking of 209, also competes in the doubles draw with Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker and they will play Argentian duo Andrea Collarini and Andres Molteni in round one.