Who Is Cancer-Survivor Ryan Peniston Who Thrashed French Open Finalist Casper Ruud?

Published 06/15/2022, 3:27 PM EDT

Tennis and tournament surprises often go hand in hand. The same was the case with Casper Ruud. Coming fresh as the Roland Garros runner-up, the World No. 5 opted to kick off his grass-court season at the Queen’s Club. Being the top-seeded player and the French Open runner-up, the Norwegian was the hot favorite for the title. However, his dreams were brought to a halt in the first round when he lost against World No. 180, Ryan Peniston.

Both the players went neck and neck from the first point of the match. However, playing his first-ever ATP main draw match, the 26-year-old Peniston took the upper hand, outplaying Ruud in straight sets. While Ruud’s loss has come as a surprise, Peniston, on the other hand, has become the talk of the town. During this time, a question that has been surfacing amongst the tennis community is, ‘Who is Ryan Peniston?’

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The unpleasant childhood of Ryan Peniston

Born in 1995, the British star had unpleasant days as a toddler. During his early childhood days, the Essex-born player was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer. While other kids his age enjoyed their childhood playing, Peniston had to undergo sessions of chemotherapy and even surgery.

Recalling the unpleasant phase of his childhood, Peniston said, “I went into hospital and had to have chemotherapy and then surgery, and then more chemotherapy.” 

Being a sensitive and a serious disease, rhabdomyosarcoma made Peniston’s early days one of the most difficult phases of his career. However, being a warrior in himself, the 26-year-old not only overcame cancer but also lived his dream of becoming a tennis player.

“Lasted about 18 months. So yes, it was definitely a difficult start to my life. I don’t remember much but from my parents and my brothers I think it must have been a pretty tough time, but yes, I had the amazing doctors, amazing nurses that helped me through that and my family.”

The Brit who outplayed Casper Ruud

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A graduate of the University of Memphis’ tennis program, Peniston spent the formative years of his tennis career as a university player. Having the hand for the game, the British star became a member of the GB University team. After winning titles for his university, Peniston entered the ITF tour in 2018.

Playing for a year, he took the next big step of his tennis career, entering the ATP Challenger tour in 2019. The same year, he also played in the qualifiers of Wimbledon. Not having success, he again tried his luck in the qualifiers of Queen’s Club and Wimbledon last year. However, the Brit had similar disappointing results this time as well.

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Not losing hope, Ryan Peniston continued polishing himself in ITF and Challenger Tour events. After failing last year, it is finally this year that he is in the main draw of the Queen’s Club. Entering the draw as a wildcard, he has already achieved the biggest win of his career so far, outplaying Casper Ruud. The next in line is Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo.

Looking at his form against Ruud, Ryan Peniston looks one amongst the many upcoming players on the tour. However, the tennis world will get to know more about his tennis skills in the tournaments to come.

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Ahmar Wasif

664 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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