Rising star the top seed

ANDREW Whittington played on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open in January.

This weekend the Melbourne-based rising star is the number one seed at Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club’s March long weekend tournament.

Whittington, 20, will play open singles and doubles at the three-day competition, which starts this morning and finishes on Monday.

He will be among more than 750 competitors at the annual tournament. Whittington, who is ranked 111 in the world in doubles, reached the men’s doubles quarter-finals at the 2014 Australian Open with Alex Bolt.

“We played on Rod Laver Arena after the (Novak) Djokovic and (Stanislas) Wawrinka match,” he said.

“We started at 1.30am. We started late but it was a great experience.”

Whittington turned professional in 2009 and played all four grand slams as a junior.

Most of his success at open level has come in doubles but the Williamstown athlete is eager to improve his singles ranking.

“Hopefully I keep getting up there,” he said.

“It’s taking a bit longer than I hoped but doubles has been my strength, always has been, and I am working towards getting my singles up there as well.”

Whittington, who lost in the first round of the Australian Open singles qualifying this year, arrived in Warrnambool this morning.

He played in Mildura this week and flew to Melbourne yesterday after losing his quarter-final match before driving to the south-west this morning ahead of his 9am match.

Whittington said he was excited to play in Warrnambool with his close mates and father Alan.

“(My aim is) just to enjoy myself. There are not many times I go to the same tournaments with my best friends and family.

“Obviously on court I am competitive so I’d love to win.”

Whittington said he would return to Melbourne after the Warrnambool tournament before deciding whether to compete in either America, Europe or Asia next.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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