RYAN Peniston’s determination to succeed has seen him secure a Wimbledon centre court debut - according to Southend Lawn club captain Graham Taylor.

Peniston started playing at the Broadclyst Garden based club at a very young age.

And Taylor was immediately impressed by the left-hander’s attitude.

“Ryan must have been five or six when he first started to play here and it was his determination that really stood out right from the start,” recalled Taylor.

“When he first played he wasn’t the best of the youngsters and he was very small but he always wanted to do more.

“If the practise drill didn’t quite go the way he wanted he would do it again and again.

“He always wanted to be better and more accurate and he would just practise, practise, practise.

“He was always here with his dad, I would joke it was like Ryan Lawn Tennis Club rather than Southend Lawn.

“But his dad really took him forward and it wasn’t that long before he was one of the best we had here.”

Peniston maintained that progress and soon started to play for the men’s first team at just 13 years of age.

“He played with his dad in the doubles and I played a match or two with him as well,” said Taylor.

“It started off with me saying be careful, these are difficult opponents and then ended up with me playing standard tennis and him doing everything else.

“I just used to stand there and watch, it was lovely!

“I could leave it all to him and if you had Ryan playing for you by the time he was 12 or 13 it was a banker win.”

Peniston also won the club championships at the age of 12 before he headed out to France to train full-time.

But the club continued to track Peniston’s progress and will be right behind him at Wimbledon again this week.

“We’re all very proud of what Ryan has done and continues to do,” said Taylor.

“For him to be playing Andy Murray on Centre Court is just incredible and what an opportunity it is for him.

“We all have our fingers crossed for him and he’s always been someone who conducts himself brilliantly.

“He’s from a lovely family and a lot of us stay in contact with his dad Paul.

“He was at the club on Saturday actually and I know a few of us are in touch with Ryan too.

“He mentioned us in one of his interviews after winning Queen’s which was really nice and whatever happens on Tuesday we’ll always be proud of what he’s achieved.”