Ryan Peniston in action on the court

Ryan Peniston reflects on comeback after ankle ligament tear

When Ryan Peniston snapped two ligaments in his ankle and tore another in February, thoughts of a beautiful grass court summer were the furthest thing from his mind.

But the Southend tennis ace quickly worked out a timeline for his rehab and realised that if all went to plan, he could be back up and running just in time for strawberries, cream and the surface where he has enjoyed his greatest success to date.

In fact, the 28-year-old made it back even sooner than that, playing in the first round of qualifying at the French Open.

But after missing out on a place at Roland Garros, he pitched up in south-west London for the Lexus Surbiton Trophy, impressing as he dispatched Luke Saville in straight sets to move within a match of the main draw.

Having spent three months off the court, it was a welcome return.

He said: “I was super pumped to be back playing, especially on the grass in England.

“It’s been a challenging couple of months but there are silver linings to that. I got to spend quite a lot of time at home with family and loved ones. It was nice, but hard to get through. I’m just happy to be back competing.

“The ankle feels great. It’s really surprising. I thought clay and grass are two surfaces that are quite difficult on movement. But I’m feeling great out there and each week it feels better and better.

“The initial reaction to the injury wasn’t great. I wasn’t thinking too much about playing after. But then we looked at the grass season, that was a good time to come back. The French Open was really optimistic but I managed to make that as well so I’m really happy with that.”

Next up for Peniston, who beat his Australian opponent Saville 6-3 6-1, is a meeting with fellow Brit Kyle Edmund.

The pair have practised together in recent weeks, with former Australian Open semi-finalist Edmund still working his way back from three knee operations that have seen him fall down to just inside the world’s top 500.

And after picking up a first victory since his own injury troubles, Peniston is looking forward to taking on a good friend.

Peniston added: “It was a little shaky start, a few nerves but to come back and get through like that is great.

“It’s my favourite surface, I’ve had good seasons on it. I’m enjoying myself, I’m enjoying playing because I didn’t get to do it for the last few months. I’m optimistic and excited to be back playing.

“Kyle has had his injury issues and everything but I know him really well, we train together a lot. He’s a great guy so it will be exciting.”

Ryan Peniston is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme presented by Lexus, the highest level of support for developing players aged 16-24, designed to help them crack the Top 100.

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