With the Davis Cup Qualifiers coming up this weekend, British tennis player James Ward recalls the incredible Davis Cup winning team he was part of five years ago when the Brits defeated USA in the first round of the Davis Cup in 2015.
Ward had scored an incredible 6-7 5-7 6-3 7-6 15-13 victory over the American No. 1 John Isner in the tie. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Ward says, 'I'm very much a London boy, and there was this mainly Scottish crowd going mad.
It's the kind of thing that stays with you when you go through the difficult times, and there have been a few of them. Andy won his first singles easily, and with the reverse singles coming we knew he had a very good record against John, so everyone was aware one other win would do it.
Beating Isner didn't happen by accident, I had done two years' working with Darren Tandy (his Australian coach). I believed in him, bought into what he was telling me. I was in a good place going into that match and very fit.
When you play against a guy like John you know he is going to be aggressive on the return, because he is so confident about holding his own serve. He knows that the pressure is constantly building on you because he is holding all the time.
In Davis Cup I pick someone to focus on and in this case it was Andy sitting on the bench. In the last two sets I was looking at him all the time. He was No 2 in the world, obviously I had a huge amount of respect for him. He was very intense on the side, telling me to stay up the court, not to get pushed back too much.
You sort of choose which way it might go against John's serve and hope that you've got it right. I was doing that well, and even at two sets down I always felt I was in the match.' Now ranked No. 273 in the world, Ward is still grinding it away on the Challenger circuit.
'I guess it's that I still love the feeling of winning when it happens, it's tough to find that anywhere else. I do feel I'm playing better now and you have the motivation of getting back to that level I was.
Who knows if it will happen again but it's worth trying. I find the travelling harder, it's not like we're going to the beach when we are away. I like being at home and going to watch Arsenal.'