Ryan Peniston believes a Grand Slam debut is just around the corner after finishing runner-up at the inaugural UK Pro Series in Weybridge, writes Will Jennings.
The Southend tennis star embarked on a memorable run to the final after receiving a wildcard entry, beating Dan Cox in the last four before going down 6-2, 6-4 against Liam Broady in the final.
The world No.393 showed considerable signs of promise throughout the tournament and reckons a tilt at SW19 could be within touching distance.
“Liam just played really well - he’s got the ability to play at that level and brought it today. I tried to get back into the match but it wasn’t enough,” the 24-year-old said.
Not to be yesterday but had an amazing past couple weeks at the UK Pro Series. So grateful for the opportunity and for everyone involved in the organization of the event, especially during this pandemic. Pumped for whatever comes next 💪 @ukprotennis #jacks— Ryan Peniston (@ryanhpen) August 17, 2020
📸 Ian Hall pic.twitter.com/Juttg5fA65
“I wasn’t even going to get into the tournament but got a wildcard - I was playing pretty freely and I’m really happy with how the week’s gone.
“I’m really happy with how I was playing this week and most of all, how I was competing. I was fighting back in the first set and I was happy with how my mental side was going and I’m excited about the next few tournaments coming up.
“I definitely want to play in the Grand Slams - that would be amazing and hopefully next year, I can get into Wimbledon or any of the others. That would be great and that’s the overall goal.
“At this level you have two or three good weeks and you can shoot straight up, so it’s all about taking it one match at a time and hoping it pieces together.”
Peniston was one of 24 leading players competing in the widely-billed Premier League of tennis alongside the likes of Naomi Broady and Harriet Dart in the women’s draw and James Ward and Liam Broady in the men’s.
The innovative format was devised by Andy Murray’s coach, Jamie Delgado, with players on Classic Week being split into two boxes of six ahead of finals weekend.
Peniston is currently the No.11-ranked British player on the ATP Tour but is yet to scale the heights of tennis’ Grand Slam events, with the US Open, French Open and Australian Open all scheduled to take place across the next six months.
The Essex player knows his game’s in a good place but says he’s excited to get back on the practice courts with coach, Rob Carter, and enhance the potency of his serve with a big year ahead.
“I’m back to Southend now - I’ve lived there all my life and I love it. I’m looking forward to seeing my family for a little bit and spending some time at home,” he added.
“Everyone’s got little bits they need to improve on - sometimes this week I wasn’t serving as well as I’d like to so I can definitely work on that.
"I’m excited to get on the practice court and do some serious work.”
12 of the UK’s top women and men qualified through the UK Pro Series for the UK Pro Classic - widely billed as the Premier League of Tennis. For more information, visit www.ukproseries.com.