It has been a disappointing start to the year for some of Great Britain’s tennis stars. The second and fourth highest ranked players, James Ward and Kyle Edmund both began their season in qualifying for the ATP 250 event in Doha, Qatar.
Edmund was handed a tough draw, paired with second seed and world number 99, Blaz Kavcic. Despite beating the Slovenian in a tournament towards the end of 2014, the young Brit could not repeat that feet and went out 6-4 6-4.
Ranked at a career high 101, Ward, was handed a slightly easier draw, against Jesse Huta Galung from the Netherlands. Galung is ranked a whole 93 places below the Londoner.
Ward starts strong but quickly fades
Despite breaking Galung’s serve in the first game, Ward never really imposed his presence on the game, he narrowly lost a first set tie break but was dismantled in the second, going out in straight sets 7-6 6-1.
Both men will be looking to bounce straight back from this set back ahead of their attempts to qualify for the Australian Open. Neither has made the first round before, but Ward is currently 1st alternative, meaning he still harbours hopes of making the main draw without having to go through qualifying.
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Marray enjoys win in doubles action
Elsewhere in the world there was success for GB’s Jonathan Marray. The former Wimbledon doubles champion is partnering Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan and have won their opening match, as have Jamie Murray and partner John Peers.
They knocked out top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in Brisbane, whilst Britain’s Davis Cup doubles specialist Dom Inglot is into the second round in Doha with partner Florian Mergea.