Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon dream shared by breakout star Ryan Peniston | Tennis | sport

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Ryan Peniston has shared his ‘dream’ of Wimbledon ahead of his main draw debut next week, although the Briton may have to wait to make it happen. The world number 147 has had a stellar season on grass, reaching the quarter-finals on his first two consecutive tours at Queen’s and Eastbourne, and will gain momentum at the All England Club.

Ahead of the Wimbledon draw, Peniston revealed he wanted to face none other than 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the first round, despite what a difficult task it would prove. The 26-year-old instead lured world number 95 Henri Laaksonen into a more generous draw on his SW19 debut next week.

The Essex local was announced as the recipient of a wildcard at Wimbledon last week when he was on the court at Queen’s for his first-ever match at tour level, where he upset world No. 5 and recent French Open finalist Casper Ruud. Peniston then reached the quarter-finals in west London before receiving a wildcard from Eastbourne and making the quarters again, losing to compatriot Jack Draper.

His focus was already firmly on Wimbledon after his south coast outing, and he shared his ‘dream draw’ on Thursday night, before learning of his fate. “I think it must be Rafa,” he admitted. “He’s been one of my idols since I was young, so to play him on center court would be outrageous.”

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And referring to watching top players, he added: “I saw them all playing there. Yes, I have seen them all. So yeah, it’s gonna be cool to be one of those guys playing there.

Peniston also received a doubles wildcard alongside Alastair Gray and was also looking forward to the men’s doubles event at the All England Club. “I haven’t played a lot of doubles, but me and Al have played some over the last few months, so we’re a good team I think, and I’m really looking forward to it too because doubles is great fun on the court, especially at Wimbledon,” he said.

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