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Ryan Peniston has opened up on his goal to use his platform to spread awareness for those suffering with cancer, after battling rhabdomyosarcoma as a child. The 26-year-old is set to play in his second-ever ATP Tour event in Eastbourne following his stunning debut at Queen’s earlier this week.
Peniston has become one of the most talked-about players in British tennis following his main draw debut at the Queen’s Club, where he downed top seed and recent French Open finalist Casper Ruud en route to the quarter-final. The Essex native is now following it up with his second tour event at the Eastbourne International and shared his hope to use his profile to spread awareness after overcoming cancer as a child.
The world No 180 lost to Filip Krajinovic in three sets on Friday and arrived in Eastbourne on Sunday. Reflecting on his days since his breakout run at the cinch Championships he said: “It’s been really nice, had a lot of nice messages and support from people. I took a little time yesterday to relax and chill but I think it’s starting to set in.”
Asked what the most surprising message he received was following his quarter-final showing at Queen’s, Peniston didn’t name a high-profile celebrity or athlete and instead shared how much it meant to him to be reposted by one of the country’s leading charities for children with cancer. “Not loads that I’ve seen but mainly one that really stood out was Young Lives vs Cancer, they kind of reposted my story and I really enjoyed that, that was nice,” he smiled.
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During his run at the Queen’s Club, Peniston opened up on his experience with a rare form of cancer that forms in the skin tissue as a one-year-old. “I don’t remember tons of it which is I guess a good thing. So when I was a one-year-old I was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma,” he explained earlier this week.
“I went into hospital and had to have chemotherapy and then surgery and then more chemotherapy, it lasted about 18 months. It was definitely a difficult start to my life, I don’t remember much but from my parents and my brothers it must have been a pretty tough time.”
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The 26-year-old was keen to continue using his newfound platform to help those suffering the way he and his family did. Speaking ahead of his Eastbourne debut, he added: “100 per cent that’s one of the big things that I’d like to do in my career. Kind of like to spread awareness and do what I can to help people going through similar things.”
And Peniston was also looking forward to play another event on home soil before making his main draw debut at Wimbledon after receiving a wildcard. “It’s really nice, I mean probably three weeks ago I wasn’t that used to playing in front of home crowds but it’s been super nice to have British fans there cheering so I just try and use it as a positive,” he said.
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