Millennium Post

Britain’s Ward clinches AirAsia Open tennis title

James Ward of Great Britain played the best tennis of the week to clinch the AirAsia Open, $50,000 Challenger title as he defeated Spanish top seed Adrian Menendez-Madeira 6-2, 7-5 at the KSLTA Courts here on Sunday.

Watched by a packed crowd, the English player was all over his Spanish opponent breaking the World No.137 in the sixth and eighth games to wrap the first set.

The second seed had a chance to gain his first break in the very second game of the first set when he held two break points but Adrian came back strongly to save the two points and hold onto serve. 

The Spaniard raised the level of his game in the second set and kept the British Davis Cupper on court longer than expected.

But it was the second seed that held sway despite not gaining a break early.

Ward was clearly at the peak of his game and the Englishman did not disappoint coming up with some superb shots to enjoy two set points in the 12th game with the Spaniard hitting a return long to hand over the title to Ward.

“I am happy and I have had a good week. I played by best tennis on Sunday and I was serving pretty well throughout the match,” Ward, who collected the winner’s cheque of $7,100, said in a release. 

Incidentally, this is the first Challenger title for the World No.159. Adrian had to be content with a cheque for $4,240. The pair head off to Pune to take part in the KPIT Challenger. 
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