RYAN Peniston will take on top seed Casper Ruud at the cinch Championships today – but the Wakering based left hander insists there is no-one else he would rather be playing.

Peniston’s fine run of recent form has seen him rewarded with a wildcard for the well-renowned event at the Queen’s Club.

And the Great Wakering based 26-year-old cannot wait to face Ruud who was runner up at the French Open earlier this month.

“I don’t think there’s anyone else I would rather face to be honest and it’s really exciting for me,” said Peniston.

“It’s a great challenge but I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s a good chance to see what shape my game is in.”

Echo: Playing well - Ryan Peniston impressed at Surbiton and NottinghamPlaying well - Ryan Peniston impressed at Surbiton and Nottingham

Peniston’s hard work has taken him into the world’s top 200 for the first time this season and he has shone brightly at the start of the grass court season.

Runs to the quarter-finals at Surbiton and Nottingham helped Peniston receive a wildcard for this week’s event which will be screened live on the BBC.

And the former Southend High pupil could not contain his delight after being told of his inclusion in the first round draw.

“They called me just before they released it actually,” recalled Peniston.

“I’d lost in Nottingham and I was a bit down after that.

“But on the journey back home I got a call and they told me I was in for Queen’s.

“It made my day a lot better and after the phone call finished I just started going crazy in the car!

“I’m really excited.

“It’s the first time playing in the main draw singles there and it’s an unbelievable tournament.

“I’ve watched it since I was a kid so to go there and play is going to be pretty exciting.”

Echo: Working hard - Ryan Peniston Working hard - Ryan Peniston

But Peniston has put years of hard work into earning the opportunity.

"I started playing tennis really early when I was about three with my dad," said Peniston, who attended Great Wakering Primary School.

"The first club we went to was Garons in Southend.

"I was hitting the sponge balls over there and having lessons.

"We started started to hit down at Southend Lawn and we did that for a long time over there.

"It was between those two when I was a kid."

However, Peniston's long-term aim has always been to reach the main draw at Wimbledon and he is hoping that dream could be a reality with a wildcard for this year's championships.

"Wimbledon is the ultimate aim and dream," said Peniston.

"To play in the main draw there would be incredible for me and it would be pretty cool if I could make that happen."