Peniston Stuns Ruud In London

British wild card earns biggest win of his career

As ATP Tour debuts go, they don’t get much better than Ryan Peniston’s at the Cinch Championships.

The British wild card earned the biggest win of his career Tuesday, stunning World No. 5 Casper Ruud 7-6(4), 7-6(2) to reach the second round in London.

"I can't really believe it. It feels like a dream," Peniston said in his on-court interview. "I didn't get much sleep last night ahead of the match and it doesn't feel real. Casper is an unreal player, he did so well at Roland Garros, so I knew it was a tough ask. I think you have to step on the court thinking you have a chance to win and I did that and that is all I could do."

Playing in front of a packed crowd, Peniston showed little sign of nerves as he rose to the occasion on home soil. The Briton outmanoeuvred the World No. 5 by dictating with his forehand, while he caused Ruud problems with his lefty serve out wide to secure his standout victory after two hours and 10 minutes.

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Last year, when he was No. 375 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Peniston lost in the first round of qualifying at The Queen’s Club. Following his victory over Ruud, he is up to No. 156 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and can climb further this week, with Francisco Cerundolo or Pedro Martinez awaiting in the second round.

In a tight contest, it was Peniston who was the more proactive player, hammering the ball from the baseline and closing the net effectively to disrupt Ruud’s rhythm. After clinching the first set in the tie-break, the wild card showed his fighting spirit in the second set, rallying from a break down to triumph.

Ruud, who was making his debut at the ATP 500 grass-court event, was competing in his first tour-level match since he advanced to his maiden Grand Slam final at Roland Garros earlier this month.

Earlier, Sam Querrey continued his love affair with The Queen's Club by moving past fifth seed Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-4. The American lifted the title in London in 2010 and reached the semi-finals in 2012 and the quarter-finals in 2017 and 2018.

The qualifier will next play countryman Jenson Brooksby or Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp also advanced, downing British qualifier Paul Jubb 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1 in two hours and 39 minutes. The World No. 29 will face Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.

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