Wimbledon 2022: Ryan Peniston’s third-round hopes dashed in Steve Johnson defeat

·2 min read
Wimbledon 2022: Ryan Peniston’s third-round hopes dashed in Steve Johnson defeat

Ryan Peniston’s hopes of reaching the third round on Wimbledon debut were dashed as he was beaten in straight sets by America’s Steve Johnson on Wednesday.

The Briton has enjoyed a breakthrough season on grass, reaching three consecutive quarter-finals at Nottingham, Eastbourne and, most notably, Queen’s, where he stunned French Open finalist Casper Ruud.

On paper, a meeting with the world No93 looked a golden opportunity for Peniston, who would have instead been on course for a clash with 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov had the Bulgarian not been forced to retire through injury while a set up in his first-round clash with Johnson.

24 hours on from his maiden Grand Slam victory, however, this proved a match too far for the 26-year-old wildcard as his error-strewn display saw Johnson comfortably prevail 6-3 6-2 6-4.

After rain delayed the start by more than an hour and a half, the early games set the tone, with Peniston having to graft for every hold and his opponent rattling off service games with little fuss.

Ryan Peniston had enjoyed a breakout grass-court campaign in 2022 (Getty Images)
Ryan Peniston had enjoyed a breakout grass-court campaign in 2022 (Getty Images)

Johnson was defensively watertight when he had to be, which was not often enough as Peniston too regularly gave up cheap points, finishing the match with 30 unforced errors to his rival’s 17.

Johnson broke midway through the first set to seize the initiative and was soon a double break up in the second, by which point the writing was effectively on the wall for Peniston, despite the best efforts of the Court 3 crowd to rouse one of nine home players to have so far reached the second round, with Harriet Dart still having the potential to make it 10.

Peniston rallied to keep the third set on serve to 4-4, when a double fault opened the door for Johnson to make the decisive break, which was then handed to him on a platter when the Brit found the middle of the net with his forehand on the run.

Serving for the match, Johnson endured a rare wobble and faced break points for the first time all afternoon but was twice let off the hook in tame fashion and took full advantage, sealing victory at the first time of asking with an ace.

More to follow

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