The British contingent at Queen’s Cinch Championships had an eventful day as Cameron Norrie and Ryan Peniston claimed victories while Dan Evans faced disappointment. While Norrie and Peniston are advancing to the last 16, Evans laments his run of losses, which he fears may overshadow his performance at the upcoming Wimbledon.
Norrie’s Triumphant Return to Home Turf
Cameron Norrie, Britain’s number one, displayed a dominant presence as he defeated Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 (7-5). Norrie’s victory marked his first appearance on British grass courts since the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, and it marked a good start to his grass season.
Despite a few close calls, Norrie remained calm and won his sixth match point when Kecmanovic blasted a forehand long. Norrie’s next opponent will be either Australian Jordan Thompson or Milos Raonic of Canada, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up.
The Briton, still fresh from a loss in the third round at the French Open, relishes being back on home turf. “It feels good to be back on the grass and back playing in London,” Norrie commented after his win, though admitting that there are a few areas for improvement.
Ryan Peniston Defies Rankings, Earns Praise
Ryan Peniston, who reached the Queen’s quarter-finals last year, stunned the spectators with a surprise victory over 37th-ranked Frenchman Ugo Humbert. Peniston, who is now ranked outside the top 250, defeated his opponent 6-4, 6-2.
Peniston’s accomplishment was especially impressive given that he was a wildcard at the west London club this year. The 27-year-old from Essex, who survived cancer as a child, said after his triumph, “I loved playing here last year so to come back feels pretty comfortable on the court.” In the second round, he will face either Danish second seed Holger Rune or American Maxime Cressy.
Dan Evans: A Downward Spiral
In contrast to his fellow Britons, Dan Evans was defeated 6-4 7-5 by American Sebastian Korda. Evans was open about his lack of confidence, saying he was not looking forward to competing at Wimbledon. The 33-year-old recently parted ways with his Argentine coach, Sebastien Prieto, adding to his anguish.
“I’m not looking forward to playing tennis right now.” It’s difficult,” Evans admitted, revealing his anxiety about his lack of confidence and his fear of the upcoming Wimbledon.
The Cinch Championships are a critical lead-up to Wimbledon, which begins on July 3. With Norrie and Peniston gaining momentum, and Evans searching for a way to break his losing streak, the Championships have set the stage for a dramatic Wimbledon tournament.