Ryan Peniston’s dream Queen’s run is over after being beaten by Filip Krajinovic in the quarter-finals of the cinch Championships.
In just his first appearance at an ATP Tour event, Peniston has made quite the impact after stunning top seed Casper Ruud in the opening round, before going on to dispatch Francisco Cerundolo to reach the last eight.
Serbian Krajinovic arrived at this match having slayed American pair Jenson Brooksby and Sam Querrey in the previous rounds.
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Peniston’s dream week at Queen’s led to him saying he “does not want to wake up anytime soon”, and in the early stages he looked calm and assured as both players continued to hold serve in the opening set.
With the scores at 3-3 in the first, Peniston missed three break points, with Krajinovic breathing a sigh of relief as he fought his way back to hold, much to the disappointment of the crowd. Not letting his missed opportunity get him down, the British player retaliated with a vicious service game to love.
The break finally came for Peniston, with his opponent trying to serve and volley his way to safety once more, but finding the net at the crucial moment. Serving for the set, the 26-year-old saw a break point pass him by, before regaining his composure to take a 1-0 lead. With his second chance to take a significant lead in the tie, he unleashed a stunning forehand which skipped off the baseline, which was met by huge applause.
Things were close to getting even better for Peniston at the start of the second, but he failed to convert two break points in the opening game, and Krajinovic held.
Five games later, Peniston passed up yet another opportunity to break, and this one proved vital as Krajinovic seized his opportunity in the very next game to take the advantage.
After securing that all important break, the Serbian moved through the gears to take the second set with control and pull the match level.
Coming out for the deciding set, both players looked strong on serve, holding with ease.
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Then the nerves started to set in, with Peniston first to be broken, before breaking straight back to remain level. Remarkably, for a third successive game there was a break of serve, with Krajinovic taking control. He then held serve to move within a game of the semi-finals.
With more and more errors creeping into his game, several loose shots from Peniston gave Krajinovic two match points. It was a wayward forehand from the Brit which ultimately delivered a last-four spot for Krajinovic.
He will play the winner of Marin Cilic against Emil Ruusuvuori, while defending champion Matteo Berrettini and Botic van de Zandschulp will meet in the second semi-final.
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For Peniston, his attention turns to Wimbledon, where he will compete as a wildcard entrant.
Whatever happens at the Grand Slam, the 26-year-old is also excited for his future past this summer.
His run to the quarter-finals at Queen's has seen him take away £50,230, which is almost double his career prize money earnings in singles to date.
With a guaranteed take away of at least £50,000 to come from Wimbledon, Peniston is already thinking about how he can reinvest.
“It's a lot of money for someone like myself who has been playing on a future tour a couple of years ago to now the Challengers,” he said.
Peniston is ambitious about what he could go on to achieve, but knows he may need support, which he can now afford.
“I think it's something I have been doing for the last couple of years. Investing in myself. Just being able to pay for training and travel and now I'm starting to be able to afford, like you said, a coach to travel with. The next step is being able to afford a physical trainer on the road, which I think is super important, and trying to basically improve the team and have them as much with me as possible,” he said.
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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