Wimbledon | Norrie to take on Johnson next

Ryan Peniston led the British charge for a place in the third round as the remaining home representatives fought to ensure their efforts at this year’s Championships would be remembered in positive terms, despite his straight sets loss to Steve Johnson.

I think I was a little bit fortunate to win that first set – he was the better player. He was too good in the second and the third and I was getting a little bit frustrated Cameron Norrie

The Essex player will certainly be remembered having, at 26-years of age, finally made a breakthrough on the senior tour during the warm-up events and on his debut at Wimbledon, where he secured an excellent first round straight sets win over Swiss Henri Laaksonen.

His inexperience at tour level though, was exposed by his second-round opponent from the US, who, aged 32, was making his ninth appearance at The Championships where his best result was a run to the fourth round achieved in 2016.

Johnson’s win/loss record at Grand Slams since his first appearance at the 2011 US Open, stood at 32 wins to 38 losses while at Wimbledon his record was 9-8 prior to his 2022 second round appearance and his first meeting against Peniston.

In that match which he dominated with his forehand from start to finish, he levelled his results against Brits to five wins from 10 matches after just 99-minutes of play.

Ryan Peniston couldn't find his game against Steve Johnson

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In that time Peniston was able to match Johnson game for game only to fall behind when it mattered most. In the first set he was level until the fifth game when he was broken allowing Johnson to pull ahead 4-2. The American extended that to 5-2 and was then forced to serve it out after Peniston held for 3-5 which he did with no problems.

The British No.6 needed to respond quickly in the second if he was to have a chance to extend his stay at Wimbledon, but Johnson was unrelenting breaking him in the third and fifth to go two sets up.

In the third Peniston hung on and looked to be getting the measure of his more experienced opponent until 4-4 when Johnson raised a series of break points, converting one to move ahead 5-4 and the opportunity to serve for the match.

Either the pressure of serving out or Peniston suddenly going for broke, Johnson delivered two double faults and was forced to face two break points – the only ones he offered up throughout the contest – before he successful clinched the set with an ace (his 14th of the match) to march into the third round for only the second time in his Wimbledon career where he will be meeting another Brit, the home nation’s top player, Cameron Norrie, the ninth seed who battled past Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-0 6-2.

.”I’m very happy – I served really well today and that helps on grass,” the Californian said, and it will certainly have to be in top form when he takes on Norrie in a couple of days time.

Cameron Norrie the fittest man on the tour scrambled through

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Norrie however, looked to be on the way out when he fell two sets to one down on Court No.1 but got his game back on track when Munar started to cramp in the fourth which saw the Brit sweep through to level and keep himself in contention.

At two-sets all the fightback was well underway. Munar having received attention to his cramping thighs, dropped his serve for Norrie to go 2-0 up in the decider.

But the momentum was now with the Brit having put together 8 games in a row though Munar recovered some of his movement to break him and pull the scoreline back to 2-2.

But by now Norrie was on a roll and that slight set back was quickly pushed aside as he moved ahead again and, when Munar failed with a volley and netted a forehand, the Spaniard’s resistance basically evaporated after three-hours and 12-minutes.

“I was so pleased to get through, it was a tricky match,” Norrie admitted.

“Jaume put the ball in so many awkward spots in the court, I wasn’t playing my best and managed to lock it in in the fourth and keep the momentum. I hope he’s OK, he was struggling a bit in the fifth.

“That match was exactly what I needed: I got a lot of rhythm out there,” Norrie admitted.

“I think I was a little bit fortunate to win that first set – he was the better player. He was too good in the second and the third and I was getting a little bit frustrated.

“He was lobbing me and drop-shotting and passing me. It was really tough. But I managed to turn it around and I was really pleased with my level at the end. I’m just really pleased to get through.”

Now victory over his next opponent, Steve Johnson, would take Norrie into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career and that should prove a great incentive for one of the fittest players on the tour.

Jaume Munar receives medial treatment during the match

Julian Finney/Getty Images



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