London, UK, 29 June 2017 | Matt Trollope

John-Patrick Smith stands one match away from the main draw at Wimbledon after a hard-fought win over American Mackenzie McDonald.

So does Andrew Whittington. who for the second match in a row came from behind to score victory – this time over Tim Smyczek.

Smith held firm in a tense final game to beat the 22-year-old McDonald 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3, sealing the one-hour, 54-minute match with an ace.

“Obviously I would have liked to have done it in two sets in the breaker, but that’s tennis, you know?” said Smith, who for the second time in two matches dropped the second set in a tiebreak before taking control in the third.

“It was good to get that match out of the way before it rains again.

“It was tough; I had some chance but a few balls that missed close by, so it was tough like that to get through and to regain focus again but it was good because I got the first break, so that was what I needed.

“I served pretty well today I thought, better than my first match. I’ve got to serve well tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be tough, best out of five (sets).”

In the final round he will play Chilean Christian Garin, who overcame Bjorn Fratangelo of the United States in three sets.

For Whittington, this week has been a revelation.

“It’s unbelievable – if you’d told me that (I was one win away from qualifying) at the start of the week, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” he said after his 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 win over Smyczek.

“But I’ve got one more to go so hopefully I can do myself and my family proud.”

In the first round, Whittington trailed Stephane Robert 4-1 in the final set before clawing his way back into the match.

On Wednesday, it was Smyczek who began the stronger before the Aussie reeled him in.

Serving powerfully to keep his nose in front after breaking the American in the opening game of the third set, Whittington used his delivery to climb out of a 15-40 hole when serving for the match, and converted on his third match point.

“I’ve been one set down in both matches; I think that’s the biggest thing for me at the moment, just keep fighting, because you never know, if I keep holding my serve, I’m still a chance,” he said.

“(Robert) has been top 50, a great player, great career.That gave me a lot of confidence going into today. Tim’s been around a while as well. So yeah, great win again, and just looking forward to the next day.

“I love grass – I remember as a little kid going up to Swan Hill for Easter with my family and friends, and just something I always enjoy playing on. Obviously Mildura, too, is a grass tournament I always enjoy going up to and playing.

“And you’re playing for a spot in Wimbledon, so I don’t think there’s a bigger spot in a draw you’d want.”

Another Aussie, Alex De Minaur, fell 6-2 6-4 to Tatsuma Ito of Japan.

De Minaur competed hard and pushed his more experienced opponent in a series of high-quality rallies, particularly in the second set.

He was broken in the fifth game only to break back, but Ito’s second break, in the ninth game, proved a hurdle too high for the young Aussie to clear.

De Minaur saved two match points but Ito clinched victory on his third to advance.

Blake Mott, the fourth and final Aussie man in action on Wednesday, fell 7-5 6-4 to Sascha Bublik of Kazakhstan.