James Ward showed serious heart despite a straight sets defeat to world No.1 Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon and Tim Henman admits he is keen to see the Camden tennis star now build on the display.

Ward’s task was always going to be a gargantuan one with Djokovic’s last defeat at a Grand Slam coming in the French Open final to Stanislas Wawrinka in June 2015 and the last time the Serb even lost a set in the opening week of a Slam being back at Wimbledon in 2014.

And the Brit’s centre court dream looked to be turning into a nightmare as he lost the first set 6-0 before falling 3-0 behind in the second but gamely fought back to ensure a respectable final scoreline of 6-0, 7-6, 6-4 to Djokovic.

Ward’s career-high ranking is world No.89 – achieved last June – and while he has since dropped to 177 in the world, former British No.1 Henman wants the 29-year-old to use the momentum created by the Djokovic performance to catapult himself back into the top 100.

“The start is always important – you can’t give anyone a 9-0 start let alone the world No.1, who has won four Grand Slams in a row,” said Henman, who was speaking on behalf of HSBC, the Official Banking Partner of The Championships.

“He acquitted himself better after that but in the context of where James is at, he’s got to go away and build momentum.

“He has had a difficult time, losing his coach and having a few injuries but he’s got to build consistent matchplay and compete in tournaments where he’s getting a few wins under his belt.

“He’s a top 100 player so he has to go away and build on this.”

Ward has had incredible highs in his career to date – reaching the third round at Wimbledon 12 months ago, making the Queen’s Club semi-finals back in 2011 and being part of Great Britain’s Davis Cup-winning team last year.

But his performances have often lacked consistency and Henman would like to see the Londoner become more attacking on the court as he looks to progress.

“What is success for James Ward? It’s an interesting question but he certainly needs to maximise his game. It lacks a bit of identity at the moment,” added Henman.

“He needs to be a bit more proactive rather than reactive – play a little bit closer to the baseline and be more aggressive.

“If he does that then he can get back into the top 100. If you get into the top 100 you start playing a bit of a different schedule, you start playing on the main tour, in better tournaments for more ranking points.

“Then you can build from there, so hopefully there are a few more opportunities ahead for him.”

Tim Henman 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