Dream time for Northampton tennis ace Ward as he receives Wimbledon wildcard

Northampton's Alex Ward (left) practised at Queen's last week with Andy Murray. This week he will join the Scotsman in the draw for the first round of Wimbledon 2016
Northampton's Alex Ward (left) practised at Queen's last week with Andy Murray. This week he will join the Scotsman in the draw for the first round of Wimbledon 2016

Northampton tennis star Alex Ward will achieve his lifelong ambition of playing the main draw at Wimbledon after receiving a wildcard for both singles and doubles at next week’s tournament at SW19.

The 26-year-old has been rewarded for his impressive year so far and he expressed his delight at receiving the call from Davis Cup winning captain Leon Smith.

“I was totally over the moon, especially when I found out I have a wildcard for doubles as well as singles,” said Ward.

“I have started to get my head round how much of an achievement it is. In my eyes it’s the biggest tournament on the planet, it doesn’t get any better.”

The British number seven also explained how it was a dream he always held, going back to when he started out at Northampton Lawn Tennis Club.

“It’s been a lifetime ambition for me ever since I started as a youngster playing down at Cherry Orchard,” revealed Ward.

When asked who he would like to draw at Wimbledon, Ward is hopeful of avoiding a seed as he eyes a place in the second round.

“The dream draw is to avoid a seed, I’ve had some big wins in the past so i’ll go out there believing I can get another one,” he said

Ward’s exciting build-up to Wimbledon has also been boosted by practising with Milos Raonic and Andy Murray to help them prepare for their matches at Queen’s, an experience that he has really enjoyed.

“The hitting has been awesome, they have been very friendly and the quality of practice is another level,” said Ward.

“I actually got called up to hit with Milos the other day but had already arranged to hit with Andy.

“It’s not often you have to say no to a player in the world’s top 10!”

Ward, who moved back to Barcelona 12 months ago to link up with some of his old coaches, is aiming to build on his impressive rise up the rankings and get into the world’s top 200 after recently reaching a career high of 242.

The lifelong Northampton Town fan said that this week “has been out of this world” and admitted that the only downer had been Ricky Holmes’ decision to leave the Cobblers.

“I suppose you can’t have everything!”