James Ward may have got some good fortune as he avoided David Ferrer but he said there was nothing flukey as he bettered a lucky loser at Wimbledon.
Italian Luca Vanni got the nod to replace the injured Spanish world number seven but Ward progressed into the second round for the first time in three years with a ruthless performance.
He joins Andy Murray, Liam Broady and Aljaz Bedene as four British men make it past the first hurdle at the All England Club for the first time since 2006.
“When Ferrer pulled out people were talking about it being an easy draw facing a lucky loser, it wasn’t at all – he would have fancied playing me as well,” said Ward, following a 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“It’s been a great day for British tennis. Everyone has picked their game up, it’s good to have a few more guys playing well and winning matches – we keep knocking at the door. I had to hang in after the first set but I felt I deserve it.”
And now British fans certainly know who Aljaz Bedene is. Only earning his passport in March, he celebrated his first day as a British player at Wimbledon by coming back from two sets to one down to beat 36-year-old Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6.
“The first three set I didn’t play well, I was too nervous,” said Bedene, who next faces experienced SW19 hand Viktor Troicki.
“But I had a tear in my eye at the end, all the emotions came out for me. I finally played here as a British player – it wasn’t the same as before and it felt amazing with all of the Wimbledon people behind me.”
Earlier, Kyle Edmund, 20, refused to blame a shoulder injury for his straight sets exit at the hands of Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, who recently stunned Rafa Nadal in his opening match at Queens.
The British number four twice had to call for the trainer as he went down 7-6, 6-1, 6-2.
“My shoulder was sore but it’s not the reason I lost,” he said.
And Brydan Klein accepted he had no answer to a commanding Andreas Seppi as the British number five was taken apart – but doesn’t believe his conqueror has enough to see off Andy Murray, a potential third round opponent for the number three seed.
“He would give Andy a good game but I’d back him (Murray) to get through,” he said, following the 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 defeat.
© Sportsbeat 2015