Ward eyeing Dimitrov upset
3:49pm Monday 9th June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
James Ward accepts he must force a second-round upset against Grigor Dimitrov as he attempts to repeat his 2011 run to the Queen's Club Aegon Championships semi-finals.
The British number three saw off Blaz Rola for the second time in three weeks on Monday, to move on to face number-four seed Dimitrov in the Kensington Wimbledon warm-up tournament.
Ward became the first British man in more than 40 years to reach the French Open's first round proper through qualifying when slugging past Slovenian Rola in a gruelling 12-10 final set on May 23.
The 27-year-old won in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 on Monday, to tee up a showdown with world number 13 Dimitrov, admitting he must produce his best tennis to progress still further.
"It would be an upset if you look at the rankings no doubt," said Ward.
"Probably this would be the best surface for me to face him on.
"We practised last week though and we know each other pretty well anyway, so I think it will be a good match.
"That was a one-off result to get to the semi-finals when I did, as to how I played in that week and you can't do that every week.
"But I think I'm playing a lot better, I've been far more consistent, I went well at the French and with these opportunities for the next few weeks hopefully I can keep moving forward."
Ward fell to Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the French Open first round, but still believes he can draw on his Roland Garros experience for the grass court campaign.
"It was great, everyone's been taking a little bit more interest since then, and it's a lot of confidence, I beat two good players in qualifying there," said Ward.
"I took four sets with Robredo, it was a tough match and he had to play well, which he did.
"It was a tough draw but it was also a good experience and one that will help me in the next few weeks I'm sure."