Whittington Keeps Winning In Lexington
The Aussie has prevailed in six of his past seven ATP Challenger Tour matches
After winning six Futures titles in the first half of 2016, Andrew Whittington is now keeping up those tendencies on the ATP Challenger Tour.
The 22-year-old Australian has jumped nearly 400 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings this year to his current standing of No. 207. Whittington reached his first ATP Challenger Tour singles final last week at the $50,000 event in Gimcheon, Korea, holding a championship point before losing to fellow Aussie Max Purcell.
Just a few days later, he was competing stateside at this week’s $50,000 Challenger in Lexington. Whittington fought off jet lag to defeat No. 5 seed Bjorn Fratangelo in the opening round and then survived a marathon second-round match on Thursday against Ramkumar Ramanathan.
“It was really exciting making my first final last week in Korea, especially playing another Aussie, so we knew an Aussie was going to take the win. It’s been a quick turnaround, but I’ve toughed it out,” said Whittington. “It’s been really nice [in Lexington]. I’m very thankful for everyone – they’ve done it really well here. They’re very helpful and will do anything for you.”
Whittington first rose to prominence in doubles, reaching the quarter-finals (w/Alex Bolt) at the 2014 Australian Open and winning his first Challenger title doubles title that May inn An-Ning, China. But this year, his singles game has caught up. In addition to his run in Gimcheon and posting a 34-3 record in Futures events in 2016, he also reached the semi-finals at the Challenger tournament this January in Happy Valley, Australia.
“I think my serve and my forehand have really developed into a bigger weapon this year,” said Whittington. “I’m believing in myself this year and I’m as confident as ever. Winning some Futures events and a lot of matches helps with that.”
After his two wins in Lexington, Whittington is guaranteed to make his debut on Monday inside the Top 200 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. And with only 16 Emirates ATP Rankings Points to defend until January, the Aussie is almost guaranteed to climb even higher.
“I’ve had a good run recently and I’m trying to keep it positive on the court,” said Whittington. “I’m just trying to keep my injuries to a bare minimum. It’s been a good year so far, so I hope to just keep going along.”