Northamptonshire tennis star Alex Ward can only go onto greater things after rising more than 300 places in the world rankings, according to Judy Murray.
Ward’s rise to prominence has come after 13 months of graft around many of the world’s less glamorous tennis locations.
Playing on the third-tier Futures circuit Ward has won just $15,765 this season, not much when you factor in travel and accommodation costs.
However, he faces the prospect of a minimum £30,000 pay day though no matter how his first round encounter with world number 11 David Goffin goes this afternoon.
And Murray has backed the 26-year-old to be spurred on to greater success after being given his Wimbledon wildcard.
“The great thing about Alex too is that he is such a worker, he is such an enthusiast, he works so hard and will put everything into it, but it is a tough match,” said Murray, who was speaking on behalf of HSBC, the Official Banking Partner of The Championships.
“It is a huge gulf in the world rankings, Goffin is top-20 and knows what he is doing, for Alex Ward it is his first opportunity.
“He has nothing to lose though and you have to see this as a great opportunity.”
Ward is one of 15 Brits in first round action at Wimbledon and Murray feels last year’s Davis Cup win has given belief to the lower ranked players.
His compatriot, world number 706 Marcus Willis, has bolted through qualifying to shock everyone and make the main draw for the first time and Murray feels Britain’s success is inspiring a generation of new fans.
“The buzz that it created sent a wave of belief across all the players and in perhaps the lower rankings, that anything is possible,” she added.
“The Davis Cup has provided huge inspiration, not just for the British players but for fans all across the country too.
“I think it brought in a new wave of fans getting behind the team, it’s always much easier to get behind a team than perhaps it is an individual.
“Plus we had so many home ties in the Davis Cup that that made a big difference too.”
Ward’s match with Goffin is the third game due on Court Three today.
Judy Murray is an HSBC ambassador. HSBC is the Official Banking Partner of The Championships and is committed to supporting tennis from the back garden to Centre Court. Follow @HSBC_Sport