Saturday, June 25, 2022

World No. 180 Ryan Peniston keeps the dream queen’s run alive with a dramatic win

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The 26-year-old is in the top 150 for the first time after his win and meets either Sam Querrey or Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals

Cerundolo, a relative novice on grass whose only experience on the surface was last year’s Wimbledon qualifier and a first-round win here over clay-court Pedro Martinez, offered virtually nothing as he conceded the opener in just 21 minutes 0: 6 lost.

QUEEN’S CLUB — Ryan Peniston waved the British flag at Queen’s as he withstood a spirited comeback from Francisco Cerundolo to win 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.

The 23-year-old, who lost the first seven games, then won eight of the next 11 to win the second set and take control of the decider, only for Peniston to break back and level the match as it got closer Two hour mark.

Just a top 200 player for the first time in the last month, this was by far the greatest moment of Peniston’s career to date.

However, he showed good nerve saving the break point and holding serve at 4-4 before confidently claiming his first-ever match point, to the delight of a crowd of 9,500 including Britain’s No. 1 Cameron Norrie, who earlier in the week of Grigor was eliminated Dimitrov.

Peniston admitted in court that this was a dream he didn’t want to wake up from.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride so far,” Peniston said.

“It was like a dream. It was amazing.”

He will be at least number 145 in the world on Monday. Depending on how his weekend goes, he could be a lot higher.

Earlier, Stan Wawrinka was stunned by Tommy Paul as he beat his first grass tournament since 2019 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.

The three-time Swiss Grand Slam champion is returning from surgery on his left foot last year and was given a wildcard earlier this week at the age of 37 to play at Wimbledon for the 16th time.

He defeated Frances Tiafoe in the first round over the course of nearly three hours but seemed to be out of breath as he lost in just 66 minutes and won just five games against Paul.

The 25-year-old American is just shy of his career best at No. 35 in the world, but has endured a torrid clay-court season, winning just two out of eight matches on what appears to be his favorite surface found his feet in the grass.

“I’ve never really had a full grass season so this will be my first,” Paul said afterwards.

“The clay court season didn’t go as planned this year, but maybe by this time next year I’ll be a grass court player!”

He added: “If you’d asked me two or three years ago, I would have said grass is probably my worst surface.

“But once I started working with my coach Brad [Stine]he told me that grass will be my best surface in the end.

“So we really tried to tailor my game to that and I feel very comfortable out there.”

Paul also said he later apologized to Tim Henman, who was part of the TV broadcast crew at Queen’s, for his missed volleys; The former British No. 1 is one of the American’s favorite players.

Paul’s game on the pitch will face his greatest challenge in the quarter-finals when he meets Matteo Berrettini after the defending champions came from behind to beat Denis Kudla.

The 2021 Wimbledon finalist, who also clinched the title by beating Andy Murray in the final in Stuttgart last week, suffered the only break of serve of the opening two sets in the first set to give Kudla a set lead and the American secured his set points own serve to force a tiebreak.

However, Berrettini came through and then grabbed his third match point after two hours and 47 minutes in 29-degree heat to secure his place in the quarterfinals.

“It was a really tough match,” said Berrettini, who underwent hand surgery earlier in the year and required a callus treatment after the second set.

“We know each other pretty well. We played seven times and each time it’s like a different game. So I’m glad I’m through.”

Follow i sport on Facebook for more tennis news, interviews and features, or listen Love Tennis Podcast presented by I‘s James Gray on iTunes, Spotify or just search “Love Tennis” wherever you find your podcasts

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