The Londoner grabbed the nation’s attention when he made the semi-finals at Queen’s Club last year but he had not made it to the second round of Wimbledon until yesterday.
The 25-year-old ran out a 4-6, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 winner in a thrilling, and at times heated, game on Court 14, to shock the Spaniard, who is ranked 137 places above him. “Of course this is the biggest win of my career,” Ward said. “Wimbledon is the biggest tournament in the world. Grass isn’t Andujar’s favourite surface, but he’s 36 in the world and wins titles on clay for fun. He’s a good player and he competes very well. He didn’t give up on anything so it’s a massive win.”
Ward squandered seven break points in the first set and Andujar needed just one, breaking the Londoner to move in front after 49 minutes. The British No 2 hit back in style, wrapping up the second set to love after a little over 20 minutes, but the match swung back in Andujar’s favour when he took the third.
Ward needed only one break point to clinch the fourth set, but he immediately found himself under pressure in the decider, going 3-0 down before winning the next four games.
Tempers frayed towards the end of the set as both players questioned line calls, but Ward found his composure and broke his opponent again to seal the shock win, which pits him next against tenth seed Mardy Fish, who won a hard-fought victory over Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.
Ward revealed he had sold his season tickets for Arsenal earlier in the day, but after guaranteeing himself a prize pot of at least £23,125 he hopes to buy them back. “I think I sold them today, actually. Bit of a nightmare. I probably can afford it now,” he said.
“It’s expensive. I might try to speak to the guy and get them back. It’s £1,300 a ticket, and the problem is for me is if I’m travelling so much I can only go to six, eight games a season max.”