ROOKIE Ryan Peniston will prepare for the biggest match of his life – by watching Love Island!
The British No 7 will battle Serbian Filip Krajinovic on Friday in the quarter-finals of Queen’s with £98,000 on the line if he makes the semis.
Yesterday the Southend southpaw came from a break down in the third set to eliminate tough Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 6-0 4-6 6-4 in two hours on Centre Court.
Against the odds and to the surprise of everyone, the world No 180 is the last Brit standing in the singles competition as the weekend approaches.
As he settled down last night in his hotel room, Peniston switched on ITV for some mind-numbing reality viewing.
Peniston, who is a big Manchester United fan because of his train-driving dad, laughed: “My routines have been exactly the same this week.
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“I go to the same Italian restaurant and then I watch an episode of Love Island.
“Why Love Island? It’s an easy watch and it’s nice to chill out with it in the evening.
“I don’t want to wake up from this dream any time soon.
“I didn’t envisage being the last Brit. This is the best week of my life, it has been a rollercoaster so far. I cannot really think of anything that tops it.
“The support has been amazing, I’ve seen all these messages from people like my next door neighbour. It has been amazing.”
Outside of British tennis circles, few Pimm’s-drinking punters had heard of Peniston and this is his ATP Tour debut.
By winning two matches – the wildcard shocked No 1 seed Casper Ruud in the opener – he earned himself at least £50,000 in prize money.
The Essex slugger, 26, bagelled the first set in 20 minutes against the man from Buenos Aires, 26, but then had to fight extremely hard for the win.
Between points Peniston reads positive notes while sitting on his chair and he is benefiting from the words of advice given to him by a mental coach.
Peniston, who is a big Rafa Nadal fan, said: “I took a lot of confident from the last match against Casper. So I came out this time all guns blazing.
“The second set it didn’t go to plan, Francisco is a great player, I fought in the third set and got over the line.
“Everyone has doubts at some points, that little voice in your head tells you negative thoughts in the match. You have to fight against it with positive thoughts.
“Mentally it wasn’t as difficult to go again, I took a lot of confidence from the first win.”
- No 1 doubles seeds Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram were stunned 7-6 6-2 by Lloyd Glasspool and Finn Harri Heliovaara.