Ryan Peniston: Last Brit standing inspired by Rafael Nadal as he looks to reach Queen’s Club semi-finals

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Fairytale run: World No180 Ryan Peniston is the last Brit standing at Queen’s Club (AFP via Getty Images)
Fairytale run: World No180 Ryan Peniston is the last Brit standing at Queen’s Club (AFP via Getty Images)

At the start of the week, few would have picked Ryan Peniston to be the last Brit standing at Queen’s Club.

Prior to his injury, Andy Murray was the form British grass-court player. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie was runner-up at the Cinch Championships a year ago while Dan Evans is no slouch on the surface.

Not even world No180 Peniston, who is taking on Filip Krajinovic for a place in the last four this afternoon, had the belief that he would be flying the flag solo for home hopes.

“To be honest, I didn’t envisage myself being the last Brit,” he said. “We have such good players in Britain, deep level but I’ll take that confidence and just try to keep it rolling. It’s a bit like a dream and I can’t really think of anything that tops it really.”

In his last-16 encounter, Peniston enjoyed an electric start against Francisco Cerundolo to win the opening set without the loss of a game before holding off a fightback for a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

Off the court, his current passions are the goings on inside the Love Island villa and also watching who Manchester United might sign before the new football season starts.

On it, the inspiration is French Open champion Rafael Nadal, who Peniston hopes recovers from his foot injury in time for him to share a locker with the Spaniard on his Wimbledon debut.

“I find him so inspiring,” said the previously unheralded 26-year-old. “Just his whole spirit, the way he carries himself and he just fights like his life depends on every point.

“And I was in Australia this year and went to a locker room and turning around just behind me was Rafa walking in as well. It’s a bit of a shock. It’s Rafa. It’s a cool experience to be around the same environment.”

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