Dedicated Murray a 'dark horse' for US Open, says Peniston

·3 min read
Peniston got up close and personal with Murray at the Battle of the Brits and believes unwavering commitment has been the key to his success
Peniston got up close and personal with Murray at the Battle of the Brits and believes unwavering commitment has been the key to his success

Ryan Peniston reckons Andy Murray will be a ‘dark horse’ at the US Open and the Scot’s dedication has held the key to his longevity, writes Will Jennings.

Southend’s Peniston is currently Britain’s No.11-ranked player on the ATP singles tour and is competing at the UK Pro Classic in Weybridge, where he qualified for the semi-finals on Friday.

Peniston eased past Luke Johnson 6-0, 7-5 in his final pool match to end with a record of four wins from five, losing only to Arthur Fery after also beating the experienced James Ward.

The 24-year-old played at the Battle of the Brits with Murray and says the former world No.1 must not be underestimated at Flushing Meadows.

“I was really pleased with my performance today and the first set couldn’t have gone better,” he said.

“And then the second set he started serving better and it was a bit tougher, but I managed to pull it out in the end.

“I’m pretty excited for Andy, definitely. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy work so hard on the court and off the court. The things he does to take care of his body is just insane.

“I’m pumped for him and I think he’s going to do well and surprise a few people. It’s just a case of his body holding up - if he takes care of his body I think he’s going to be in a good place.

“100 per cent how hard he works is what makes him so good. On the court, there’s not a ball that he’s not 100 per cent focussed on, and off the court he’s doing everything he can to give him that edge against players.

“For sure he’s a dark horse - guys definitely will not want to be playing him.”

Peniston is one of 24 leading players in the widely-billed Premier League of tennis, playing alongside a glittering array of talent including Harriet Dart and Eden Silva in the women’s draw and Ward and Liam Broady in the men’s.

The innovative format was devised by Andy Murray’s coach, Jamie Delgado, with players on Classic Week being split into two boxes of six ahead of finals weekend on August 15th and 16th.

Peniston received a wildcard entry for the idiosyncratic format after a busy post-lockdown schedule, playing in two of Weybridge’s five qualifying weeks and also at the Battle of the Brits.

He’s only got eyes on the St. George’s trophy and reckons he’s in tip-top condition heading into the weekend.

“I’m definitely feeling good about the weekend and am definitely going for the title - I’m excited about the matches that I’ve got ahead,” he added.

“It’s materialised throughout the week - when I first started playing I just wanted to get into my game and get into a rhythm but as it’s gone on, I’m seeing the No.1 spot as the goal.”

12 of the UK’s top women and men have qualified through the UK Pro Series for the UK Pro Classic - The competition will be available for free on LIVENow, Eurosport Player and will have national free to air coverage via FreeSports