Ryan Peniston, who reached the quarterfinals at Queen’s, continued his great form at the Eastbourne International as he beat Holger Rune in the first round.
Peniston came from a set down to defeat the Dane 4-6 7-6(5) 6-1 in his first-round match. Speaking afterwards, the Brit said, “Happy with it. I think just to kind of back up the couple of wins last week, feels really good and obviously, Holger is the man in form, as well, did well at the French Open. Happy with how I fought even though after losing the first set, managing to pull through at the end was good.”
This was not the first time Peniston played at Eastbourne. although it was his debut at the championships. “This is the first time (playing) for the tournament but I think I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have played. I used to come for a week in the summer, probably six or seven years in a row to be honest, yeah from 17 to 24. Just for summer county weekends. I know the place well and had experience playing on the courts.”
Peniston could potentially play Jack Draper in the quarterfinal round, something that excited the player. “That would be amazing. It just means that we’re both winning matches so, yeah, to play Jack in the quarters, as it would be, would be a good experience, for sure.”
Ryan Peniston: Childhood Cancer
Peniston suffered from soft tissue cancer as a child, something the player does not remember but he does feel help shaped him today, “When I was a kid, or even a teenager, I didn’t really ask my parents about it. But when I got older, probably 18 plus, I wanted to know more of what happened and kind of who was responsible for helping me. My parents told me all about the doctors and nurses at Barts Hospital and they told me everything they went through as well. Which was emotional, hard to hear. But, I’m glad that I definitely asked them about it.”
The man from Southend has been back to Barts and has helped them out recently. “I used to have check-ups there. But I went back there, I was able to give a little bit to charity to donate to them after one of my doubles tournaments which was really nice. It was a nice feeling to do that.”
The disease affected Peniston when he was younger but it was something that made him the player he is now. “I was really small, I was probably a foot smaller than all my peers up until the age of 15, 16, which meant I started growing and I grew quite a lot during those next two or three years. But because I was a lot smaller at that age, I had to rely on other skills to win tennis matches. Whether it was running about and anticipating, reading the game a little better instead of having a massive serve. So I think that’s definitely helped me in my game now.”
Peniston also credits other sports in his development too. “I can confirm I’m a black belt in a martial arts called Tang Soo Do which my family also practice. I started at the age of 4 or 5 and it was up until the age of 13 I started to do less, I did less lessons. But, no, it helped me massively with flexibility, discipline, kinda mindset and just respect I think was a big one that you learn in those lessons. It was a lot of fun doing the sparring, for sure.”
Peniston will face Pedro Martínez in the round of 16 and could face Jack Draper in the quarterfinals if he beats Diego Schwartzman. Exciting times for British tennis.
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