Great Britain’s Ryan Peniston stuns Casper Ruud at Queen’s, saying ‘I can’t believe it, it feels like a dream’
Ryan Peniston enjoyed a dream Queen’s Club debut as the British No 7 stunned top seed and world No 5 Casper Ruud.
The little-known 26-year-old from Southend, playing in his first ATP Tour main draw, won two tie-breaks to beat last month’s French Open runner-up 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2).
It was only the seventh time the top seed has lost an opening-round match at Queen’s in the Open Era, with Peniston consigning Ruud to an illustrious list which also includes Andy Murray, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.
Wow. Just wow.
— LTA (@the_LTA) June 14, 2022
He said: “I can’t really believe it, it feels like a dream. I didn’t get much sleep last night, it doesn’t feel real.
“I’ve been playing well.
“Obviously Casper is an unreal player, he did so well at the French Open so I knew it was a tough ask, but you have to step on the court knowing you’ve got a chance to win – so that’s what I did.
“It’s a bit surreal, four or five years ago I was sitting over there watching. It’s a bit unreal. I’ll need a bit of time to process it.”
It was the perfect way for Peniston to celebrate the news he has received a wild card for Wimbledon.
Fairytale stuff 💫
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) June 14, 2022
Admittedly Ruud is a clay-court specialist who has a pretty low opinion of the grass, and the Norwegian struggled with his timing throughout and also needed treatment on his hip after taking a tumble on the baseline.
Peniston, by contrast, has thrived on the turf this year and already had Challenger Tour wins over Jiri Vesely and Adrian Mannarino under his belt while breaking into the top 200 for the first time.
The University of Memphis alumni won five points in a row on his way to taking the first-set tie-break, not long after Ruud had slipped while on set point.
Ruud took another tumble early in the second but broke Peniston for the first time for 4-3, only for the home hope to hit straight back before completing the job in another tie-break.
On court one, Britain’s Paul Jubb – at 227 the lowest-ranked player at Queen’s this week – took world No 29 Botic Van De Zandschulp to three sets in a valiant 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-1 defeat.
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