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Ryan Peniston pulls off stunning upset over top seed Casper Ruud in ATP main draw debut at Queen’s

World No 180 Ryan Peniston pulls off stunning upset as he downs top seed Casper Ruud in straight sets in his first ever ATP main draw match at the Queen’s Club as the Brit seals the dream debut with Wimbledon wildcard

  • World No 180 Ryan Peniston beat top seed Casper Ruud 7-6(4) 7-6(2) at Queen’s
  • The Brit sent the World No 5 packing off in his first ever ATP main draw match
  • The 26-year-old was also announced as one of the wildcards for Wimbledon
  • The match came one week after Ruud’s Roland Garros defeat to Rafael Nadal 

Ryan Peniston pulled off a stunning upset in his ATP Tour debut at the Queen’s Club as he downed top seed Casper Ruud in straight sets.

The World No 180 beat Rudd 7-6 (4) 7-6 (2) to send the World No 5 packing in his first ever ATP main draw match. 

Peniston made his main-draw debut against the toughest opponent possible in the Roland Garros runner-up but the Brit got the better of Ruud, just over a week after the Norwegian made it to his first ever Grand Slam final. 

Ryan Peniston pulled off a stunning upset as he downed top seed Casper Ruud in straight sets

The World No 180 beat Rudd 7-6 (4) 7-6 (2) to send the World No 5 packing on Tuesday

The World No 180 beat Rudd 7-6 (4) 7-6 (2) to send the World No 5 packing on Tuesday

It was only the seventh time the top seed has lost an opening-round match at Queen’s in the open era, with the 26-year-old from Southend consigning Ruud to an illustrious list which also includes Andy Murray, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.

He said: ‘I can’t really believe it, it feels like a dream. I didn’t get much sleep last night, it doesn’t feel real.

‘I’ve been playing well.

‘Obviously Casper is an unreal player, he did so well at the French Open so I knew it was a tough ask, but you have to step on the court knowing you’ve got a chance to win – so that’s what I did.

The World No 5 is only the seventh top seed to lose an opening-round match at Queen's in the open era

The World No 5 is only the seventh top seed to lose an opening-round match at Queen’s in the open era

‘It’s a bit surreal, four or five years ago I was sitting over there watching. It’s a bit unreal. I’ll need a bit of time to process it.’

The biggest win of his career came on the same day he was also announced as one of the wildcards for Wimbledon while on court.

Admittedly Ruud is a clay-court specialist who has a pretty low opinion of the grass, and the Norwegian struggled with his timing throughout and also needed treatment on his hip after taking a tumble on the baseline.

Peniston, by contrast, has thrived on the turf this year and already had Challenger Tour wins over Jiri Vesely and Adrian Mannarino under his belt while breaking into the top 200 for the first time.

The 26-year-old was also announced as one of the wildcards for Wimbledon while on court

The 26-year-old was also announced as one of the wildcards for Wimbledon while on court

The University of Memphis alumni won five points in a row on his way to taking the first-set tie-break, not long after Ruud had slipped while on set point.

Ruud took another tumble early in the second but broke Peniston for the first time for 4-3, only for the home hope to hit straight back before completing the job in another tie-break.

Left-hander Peniston meets Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo or Spain’s Pedro Martinez in the second round. 

On court one, Britain’s Paul Jubb – at 227 the lowest-ranked player at Queen’s this week – took world number 29 Botic Van De Zandschulp to three sets in a valiant 7-6 (5) 4-6 6-1 defeat. 

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