Queen's Club sensation Ryan Peniston names Rafael Nadal as his favorite player



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Queen's Club sensation Ryan Peniston names Rafael Nadal as his favorite player

British tennis player Ryan Peniston revealed record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal was his favorite player growing up. Peniston, 26, is having the best week of his career as on Thursday he defeated Francisco Cerundolo 6-0 4-6 6-0 to progress into the quarterfinal at the Queen's Club.

Peniston, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 180 in the world, is making his ATP debut this week. In his first ATP tournament, Peniston upset top-seeded Casper Ruud and then also defeated Cerundolo to reach the quarterfinal.

"Rafa, yeah, Rafa," Peniston answered, when asked who was his favorite player growing up.

Peniston on beating Cerundolo

After easily winning the first set, Peniston's level dropped in the second set as Cerundolo claimed his first break in the third game and held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider.

In the third set, Peniston was 2-4 down, before earning back-to-back breaks and winning the next four games to seal a three-set win. “I don’t think I want to wake up from this anytime soon,” Peniston said in his on-court interview.

“I took a lot of confidence from the last match against Casper [Ruud] and came out guns blazing. [The] second set didn’t go to plan, he kept fighting. Francisco is a great player. I just managed to fight in the third set and got over the line and I am pretty happy with it”.

Peniston's journey is quite inspiring as he beat cancer when he was just one. “It has hugely changed my perspective [on life],” Peniston said. “When I am having a tough day about something or getting annoyed about something little, I kind of remind myself that I literally might not have been here 25 years ago.

When I think about stuff [that has annoyed me], It makes me relax and I try and enjoy everything. It definitely makes these kinds of days a little bit sweeter”.