Aussie Whittington retires hurt against Youzhny

Posted on January 11, 2017

The start of day two at the 2017 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic was a disappointing morning for Australian youngster Andrew Whittington who was forced to retire against Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

In just the seventh game of the match with the score at 30-40 on serve the 23-year-old stretched out for a forehand on the right side of the baseline before losing his footing and rolling his right ankle.

A physio was called then a medical time out followed so the Kooyong scholarship holder who is preparing for a wildcard berth at the upcoming Australian Open had his ankle strapped.

“Yeah I just wanted to get it strapped and see what it felt like out there,” Whittington said after the match.

Three games later he made the decision to retire from the match after noticeably feeling some discomfort in the ankle while moving around the court after his tumble.

“But I think in the end I had to pull the pin and just get it right for Monday or Tuesday,” he added.

“Look he (the physio) said he wasn’t too worried, which is a good sign – I know when I fell over I did go over it a little bit but kind of saved it as well by rolling.

“I’ve just got to get it right for Monday or Tuesday,” he said as tournament ambassador Pat Cash walked past reminding him to ice the injury as soon as possible.

“I’m just going to get ice on it, re-evaluate it then see how it pulls up tonight.”

Prior to the incident Whittington was looking much more comfortable early in the match than he did in his Kooyong debut against Borna Coric on Tuesday.

He retired not long after with the score at 4-4 in the first set after just 48 minutes of play, leaving the 34-year-old Russian hoping to find another game before the Open.

“I’m feeling good but it was short and I hope I can play a little bit longer here,” Youzhny said.

“But I think for the young kid it’s better to pull out now and be ready for the Australian Open, it would be a risk on a twisted ankle now and could be a big injury.

“The season just started so it’s really dangerous.”

The former world number 8, who is currently ranked 59, started the season with a pair of wins in Chennai last week and is excited to compete in his 16th Australian Open.

He is not only delighted to be back for the Grand Slam but also to enjoy the warm Melbourne weather given it was -22 degrees celcius in Moscow when he was last there.

“I missed last year here the Australian Open and I come back this year,” Youzhny explained.

“Now it’s a good feeling – because when you come back every year you think it’s normal starting the season here, (you lose some perspective) that it’s a great event and atmosphere.

“So when you miss one year your mind may be a little bit changed and you start to understand (how good it is).

“It’s great to be part of a nice tournament.”

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