RYAN Peniston 'almost crashed his car' after learning he would face Andy Murray in the first round at Wimbledon.

The 27-year-old will be only the second British player Murray has met in his many Wimbledon campaigns after beating Liam Broady in the opening match of his second title run in 2016.

Peniston was driving in Wandsworth on Friday morning when his coach told him the news, and the 27-year-old said: “I was literally just driving from my girlfriend’s.

“I had a text from my coach, Mark. He just said, ‘Andy!’. It’s pretty cool. I almost crashed. I was pretty pumped.

“I know Andy pretty well. We’ve become friends and we’ve practised quite a lot together. He’s a good guy.

“I grew up watching him, especially here. So it’s pretty special. I actually remember when he won it (in 2013), I was playing in Ilkley. They had it up on the big screen. I remember watching it and everyone was crowded around and it was a special moment.”

It would a big surprise if the clash is not scheduled on Centre Court on Tuesday, which would be the biggest occasion of Peniston’s career.

“I’ve got to try and prepare for it,” he said.

“I’ve never gone through that before.

I think going out on Queen’s centre court might be a little bit similar so I can take some things from that. I will just try and go out there, get ready for it and give it my all.”

Peniston’s only previous experience of Centre Court has been as a fan watching from the stands.

“I came and watched (Grigor) Dimitrov, I’m sure he played (Richard) Gasquet on Centre,” he said.

“Then I watched Heather (Watson) in her epic match against Serena (Williams). I was there and screaming on the side.”

The left-hander, who overcame cancer as a very young child, earned a lot of home support last year with a breakthrough season on the grass, reaching quarter-finals at Queen’s Club and Eastbourne, beating Casper Ruud and Holger Rune, before securing a first victory at Wimbledon.

This year has been more of a struggle but he had another good win at Queen’s, knocking out top-40 Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty special experience to go out there onto Centre Court and play, against Andy as well,” said Peniston, who is from Great Wakering.

“For my family, I hope they enjoy it as well because they’ve sacrificed a lot for me to get here. Hopefully it will be a special day. I’m going to do my best to treat it like any other match.

“I’ve got to step out onto any court thinking there’s a chance I can win. I’m going to do that. I take into account that Andy’s an amazing tennis player, he’s won here twice.

"We know each other’s games pretty well from practising quite a lot. It’s going to be a good test.

“Hopefully the crowd is going to be loud, that would be pretty cool.

"But I’m not going to be surprised if the crowd are chanting Andy’s name.”