- Age: 44 (02.06.1969)
- Birthplace: Minneapolis, MN
- Residence: Lake Minnetonka, MN
- Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
- Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
- Plays: Right-handed
- Turned Pro: 1988
- Coach: John & Mark Wheaton
As of 03.03.2014
*Singles & Doubles combined
*Singles & Doubles combined
Wearing his stars-and-stripes bandana, Minnesotan David Wheaton was a serve-volleyer who produced his best results on fast courts in a 12-year pro career. He attained a career-high No. 12 singles ranking (22 July 1991) and won three titles from seven finals.
Wheaton had his best year in 1991, when he reached the Miami final (d. Agassi, Edberg; l. to Courier), advanced to the Wimbledon semi-finals (d. Lendl, Agassi; l. to Becker) and finished the year by winning the $2 million first prize at the Grand Slam Cup in Munich (d. Chang).
"Reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 1991 was certainly one of the highlights of my tennis career," admitted Wheaton. "I do recall that I had a very difficult draw facing Petr Korda, Cedric Pioline, Ivan Lendl, Jan Gunnarson and Andre Agassi before losing to Boris Becker. Wimbledon was always my favourite tournament so to be one of the final four players that year is a very special memory.
"Winning the Grand Slam Cup in Munich in 1991 was life changing for me, even beyond tennis. Beating Michael Stich and Michael Chang in back-to-back matches resulted in the biggest tournament win of my career.
"But what I didn't expect was the lack of fulfillment I felt in accomplishing this. Here I had won a big title and a big paycheck but it was the first time I remember experiencing that winning more and earning more was not going to make me fulfilled as a human being because I wasn't at peace with God.
"Two years later, I finally came to understand that being in a right relationship with God through repenting of my sin and placing my faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ was the real way to have lasting fulfillment, hope, and joy in the good times and the bad."
The 6'4" right-hander also reached two Grand Slam quarter-finals in 1990 at the Australian Open (l. to Edberg) and the US Open (l. to McEnroe). In 1993, he represented United States versus Australia in Davis Cup (1-1 record).
In doubles he compiled a 3-12 record in finals, highlighted by reaching the 1990 US Open (w/Annacone) and 1991 Australian Open (w/Patrick McEnroe) finals.
Growing up on Lake Minnetonka near Minneapolis, he first played tennis aged four and developed his favourite backhand stroke by playing ice hockey in the winter months. Aged 15 ½ he went to train alongside Andre Agassi and Jim Courier at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
As a junior, he reached World No. 1 and won the 1987 US Open title (d. Cherkasov) and the under-18 U.S. National Clay Court Championship. He studied for one year at Stanford, winning the 1988 NCAA Championships and turned pro on 4 July 1988. He was coached by his brothers, John and Mark.
Injuries hindered his performances late in his career. He suffered a hip injury (1994), a right Achilles injury (1996), underwent an operation to remove a bone spur under his Achilles' tendon (1997) and hurt the medial collateral ligament in his serving elbow (1998).
"My biggest disappointment is looking back and thinking I could have done better if I had had a better perspective on life and tennis," said Wheaton. "At the same time, I learned valuable lessons through the ups and downs of tennis that continue to guide me today."
Since retiring in July 2001, Wheaten has developed a new career as a Christian radio talk-show host and motivational speaker. An author, he also contributes tennis articles to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He served on the board of directors at the United States Tennis Association and continues to play senior tennis. Bio: James Buddell
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