There will be no time for James Ward to celebrate the Davis Cup victory as he is due to take an 11 hour flight from London to Colombia where he will play in the Claro Open on the hard courts.
James is seeded 8th for the tournament with the top seed being Ivo Karlovic who had a very good week in Newport and the second seed being Bernard Tomic who hasn’t had a very good week with off-court issues and recently being arrested.
James begins his tournament against Michael Berrer from Germany who is ranked at 128 in the world right now with a previous career high of 42 back in 2010. James is at a career high ranking of 89 in the world right now and the big challenge for him now is to cement his place in the top 100 and continue to climb the rankings.
Looking at James’ route to the final I do think he should be targeting a place in the quarter finals.
To get to the quarter finals James wouldn’t have to play a player ranked inside the top 100 so this is a good tournament to get a few wins under his belt, climb the rankings and show he is a top 100 player. I do think a run to the quarter finals is achievable. I believe James’ game suits a hard court. He has a powerful serve and can produce incredible power off the two handed backhand up the line and cross court and we have also seen him introduce the drop short more and more into his game.
A quarter final against Victor Estrella Burgos is on the cards and Victor is having a good year with a win/loss record of 13/13 and has won his first title this year at the age of 34 years old.