Wimbledon 2015: Bedene and Ward make it four GB men winners

Aljaz Bedene
Bedene is playing his first Grand Slam as a British national
Wimbledon 2015
Venue: All England Club Dates: 29 June - 12 July
Play: 11:30 BST on outside courts; 13:00 BST on Centre Court and Court One
BBC coverage: Across TV, radio and online with up to 15 live streams available. Read More: TV and radio schedules.

Aljaz Bedene and James Ward won their opening matches to put four British men into the second round of Wimbledon for the first time since 2006.

British number two Bedene beat Czech Radek Stepanek 7-5 1-6 4-6 6-3 6-4.

It is 25-year-old Bedene's first Wimbledon since switching nationality from Slovenia to the UK in March.

Ward, 28, won in four sets, 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 6-3 against Italian Luca Vanni, to join fellow Britons Andy Murray and Liam Broady in the second round.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kyle Edmund and Brydan Klein lost in straight sets to Aleksandr Dolgopolov and Andreas Seppi.

Edmund, 20, ranked 101 in the world, was beaten 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 6-2 while 25-year-old Klein lost 6-3 6-2 6-2 to Andreas Seppi.

But Murray joined Broady when he overcame Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 7-6 6-4 and his victory was soon followed by evening wins for Bedene and then Ward as the sun set on a scorching day in the SW19 sunshine.

The last time Britain had four or more men in the second round of the singles was nine years ago, when Murray and Tim Henman were joined by Jamie Delgado, Martin Lee and Richard Bloomfield.

James Ward and Aljaz Bedene
James Ward is ranked 111 in the world

Ward fights back to beat Vanni

Ward's opponent Vanni was a lucky loser, only in the main draw because eighth seed David Ferrer pulled out through injury.

Vanni, 30, is ranked two places below the British number four, at number 113 in the world rankings, and crucially lacked any competitive experience on grass before this season.

On court 12, where Heather Watson had clinched the first British victory of the day, the Italian took a cagey first set on a tie-break but Ward had done little wrong and soon took control of the match.

With his opponent struggling with his serve and, at times, the surface, Ward ran away with the second set and, helped by the support of a noisy crowd, did not look back.

Vanni was left staring quizzically at the grass after misjudging one bounce but of bigger concern were his wayward groundstrokes, with Ward frequently on top when the two battled it out from the baseline.

Ward went on to complete an impressive victory with an ace after two hours and 34 minutes and he will play Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in round two.

Tim Henman, former British number one
"It has been a while since we have had four British men through. James Ward, it was great for him. He has been around the top 100 for a while now.
"He had the advantage of a slightly lucky draw with David Ferrer having pulled out and getting the lucky loser.
"Andy Murray has been a big part of the Davis Cup team and now these British guys are all vying for that second spot and it will be good to see who [captain] Leon Smith goes for."

Ward was pleased to see the other British success and said: "I think everyone has picked their game up.

"Everyone's ranking is improving and it is good to have a few more guys playing well and winning matches.

"Why is that happening? I can't speak for anyone else, just myself. You just keep knocking on the door. I've had a few injuries recently and been sat at the same ranking for a while.

"It's frustrating but you have to deal with it and get ready for when you do have a chance. That came here and, thankfully, I took it."

Aljaz Bedene
Aljaz Bedene plays Serbian 22nd seed Viktor Troicki in round two

Bedene battles through to round two

Bedene, ranked 75th in the world, had to come through far more of a battle against veteran Stepanek, the former world number eight.

The British number two started well and hit some fine winners as he took the opening set but mistakes crept into his game.

That allowed the 36-year-old Czech, a quarter-finalist here in 2006, to hit back and take the next two sets before Bedene, who had not got past the first round in his four previous visits to Wimbledon, found his range again.

After Bedene took the fourth set to level the match, the decider went on serve until the ninth game, when Stepanek was broken again to trail 5-4.

Bedene served out the match impressively to complete his win in three hours and 11 minutes, like Ward sealing his success with an ace.

Afterwards, Bedene said: "Winning as a Brit, and my first win in a Grand Slam here at Wimbledon, it feels amazing.

"I was trying to visualise it at four-all in the fifth set when I made the break and I got tears in my eyes. It was really emotional.

"When I won the match I got goose-bumps and all the emotions came out when I lifted my arms up. I feel really glad I got through."

He thanked the crowd for their support and added: "It felt different obviously. I am really happy they came to cheer for me. It helped."

Next up for Bedene is Serbian 22nd seed Viktor Troicki, who lost to Murray in the semi-finals at Queen's Club earlier this month.

Edmund injured as he goes out

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Dolgopolov hits ball into own face

Edmund, who is ranked 31 places below 26-year-old Dolgopolov, was looking for his second victory at a Grand Slam after a first-round win at the French Open last month.

A stomach injury forced the 20-year-old Yorkshireman to pull out of his second-round match against Nick Kyrgios at Roland Garros and he appeared to be troubled by a shoulder problem midway through the second set against Dolgopolov.

He did not seem to recover his rhythm after a five-minute break for treatment, winning just three of the next 12 games as the Ukrainian reached the second round.

Wildcard Klein well beaten on debut

Brydan Klein
Klein, the British number five, will not be joining Broady in round two

Wildcard Klein made his senior Wimbledon debut on court 18 - the scene of fellow Briton Liam Broady's thrilling comeback win on Monday.

But there was to be no repeat of those heroics by the Australia-born player, who failed to make any inroads into his opponent's serve.

Experienced Italian Seppi, 31, has only once gone further than the third round in 10 appearances in the main draw at Wimbledon, but his progress never looked in doubt as he won in three one-sided sets.

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British Grand PrixThe Ashes

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