London | Peniston the new darling of Queen’s

Last year it was Jack Draper on his debut at Queen’s who warmed spectators’ hearts with his performances at the ‘cinch Championships’ and while he was unable to replicate his quarter final run of 2021, another British talent is making a similar impact on his own debut at the popular long standing Wimbledon warm-up tournament.

he second set didn’t go my way because he is a great player. I just managed to fight in the third set and got there Ryan Peniston

Peniston, ranked 180, beat world No. 46 Francisco Cerundolo from Argentina, 6-0 4-6 6-4 to make the quarter finals in his first Tour event as he continues his dream week at Queen’s, which started when he was granted a wild card entry into the main draw.

“I don’t think I will wake up from this any time soon,” Peniston commented. “I took a lot of confidence from the last match and came out all guns blazing. The second set didn’t go my way because he is a great player. I just managed to fight in the third set and got there.”

Peniston caused a huge shock when he dispatched the top seed, Norway’s Casper Ruud in straight – albeit two tight tie-break – sets in his opening match.

The 26-year-old continued where he left off as he blitzed Cerundolo in the first set, breaking three times and only dropping three points on his own serve.

But the Argentine responded well in the next to make a match of the second-round encounter and looked set to advance into the last eight when he took an early lead in the decider.

However, Peniston fought off three more break points before hitting back in the eighth game with the crowd roaring him on in the blazing sunshine.

Cerundolo failed to break back in the next game and then could only watch as Peniston struck a forehand return winner down the line to clinch the match after two-hours and 7-minutes.

Next up for Peniston on Friday is Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic after he beat former Queen’s champion Sam Querrey of the US 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Matteo Berrettini was on the backfoot for much of the match

Luke Walker/Getty Images for LTA)

Earlier in the day, the defending champion from Italy, Matteo Berrettini, survived a scare as he beat Lucky Loser Denis Kudla, the American who replaced Andy Murray following the five-time Queen’s champion’s withdrawal with an abdominal injury, 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 to extend his winning streak to six matches at the event and record 17 wins from 18 grass court matches to date.

“It was a really tough match,” Berrettini, who won the Stuttgart Open last week, said in his on-court interview.

“We know each other really well. I am glad I am through. I think he played a really good match and most of the time I think he deserved to win, but I was there and worked hard and I am just really happy.”

Meanwhile Tommy Paul, ranked 35, advanced to his first tour-level quarter-final on grass as he beat the three-time Grand Slam champion from Switzerland, Stan Wawrinka 6-1 6-4 saving all five break points he faced to win in just 65-minutes.

“This week is my first couple of main draw wins on grass,” he said.

“If you had asked me two years ago, I would have said grass was my worst surface. But when I started working with my coach Brad [Stine], he said grass will end up being my best surface and I have tried to mould my game on that.

“I feel very comfortable out there, hopefully if not this year but next it will be my best surface.

“I feel I serve and volley well but every time I went to do so today, I missed my first serve, so I didn’t get many chances. I saw Tim Henman just now and he is one of my favourites because of the style of tennis he played, and I told him, ‘Sorry for all those volleys I missed’. I like coming to the net and rushing people on the grass.”

In the first round, Paul defeated Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, the sixth seed, 6-4 2-6 6-4 which proved a big confidence booster for the American, who dominated Wawrinka.

“Getting that win Wednesday [against Shapovalov] was a big confidence booster.,” Paul confirmed. “I came out here today [and] played really well from the start and I relaxed a little bit and everything came a little bit easier.”

In the doubles event, Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and his Finnish partner Harri Heliovaara beat Britain’s Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram of the US, the top seeds, 7-6(8) 6-2 to move into the next round.

Tommy Paul apologised to Tim Henman for his missed volleys!

Frey/TPN/Getty Images



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