US Open 2014: James Ward loses to Radu Albot in final round of qualifying
Last Updated: 23/08/14 12:06pm
British No 2 James Ward has lost out in the final round of qualifying at the US Open for the second year running.
The 27-year-old has been in arguably the best form of his career and arrived in New York at a career-high ranking of 131.
He looked to have a golden chance to complete his set of grand slam main draw appearances against world No 205 Radu Albot, but it was the Moldovan who came through 6-1 3-6 6-2.
Ward made a faltering start and comprehensively dropped the first set to the consistent Albot.
He fought back well in the second and they had played one game of the third when rain began to fall and kept the pair away from the court for two hours.
It was an untimely break for Ward and he never got going on the resumption, throwing in a poor game to be broken for 3-1.
Albot was denied victory on his first match point by the umpire's over-rule but took his second to clinch a deserved win and a spot in the main draw of a grand slam for the first time.
It has been a disappointing qualifying tournament for the British players, with the other four entrants all losing in the first round.
Ward must now hope for withdrawals from the main draw that would give him a chance of getting in as a lucky loser.