Tennis | How a love of cricket and doubles fueled Purcell’s rise in singles.

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Australia's Max Purcell celebrates after winning the men's singles final match against Australia's James Duckworth at the Bengaluru Open 2023 tennis tournament on February 26, 2023 in Bengaluru.
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Australia’s Max Purcell celebrates after winning the men’s singles final match against Australia’s James Duckworth at the Bengaluru Open 2023 tennis tournament on February 26, 2023 in Bengaluru. Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Last month, Max Purcell arrived in India for a three-week ATP Challenger swing with two ambitions — to restart his singles career and to see his beloved Australian Test cricket team do well in the Indian subcontinent. of the.

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As of Sunday, the 2022 Wimbledon doubles champion had seen both of his wishes come true. gave Challenger title in Pune It was his third in as many weeks. Chennai And Bengaluru), a run that helped him climb 108 spots and debut in the Singles Top 100 (No. 95). On the cricket field, his compatriots have come roaring back together. Win at IndoreAfter two bad defeats Nagpur And Delhi.

This passion for team sports has apparently helped Purcell’s singles increase. His love for cricket, a sport he played for 14 years, helped him make a seamless transition to doubles. Success in doubles – one Big crownTwo runner-up finishes, an ATP 250 title, 13 Challenger Trophies and the 2022 Davis Cup final — kept him financially secure, gave him a taste of the game’s biggest stages and ignited the singles fire.

“I am a big team sports player and am angry with myself that I didn’t choose cricket over tennis,” said the 24-year-old in Bengaluru. That’s why I love playing doubles. I like to get along with somebody, because tennis is so serious… to take a step back, team up and laugh it off.

“I used a lot of the big doubles tournaments to get some training with the top guys and then use that platform for my singles. I’m comfortable playing in front of a crowd. Beating Felix [Auger-Aliassime] On Olympics (Tokyo) And [Gael] Monfils in Eastbourne (2021)… I know I can play against big players.

Going forward, Purcell has chosen to focus on singles, but being Australian, he will never call doubles. Especially after victory at Wimbledon with Matt Ebden making him the first All-Australian male winner of a grass major since ‘woodies’ Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodford won in 2000.

After Wimbledon I told myself I had enough of this doubles stuff. I can always play it later. [But] I want to try to keep my doubles ranking in the 70s, so that I can play the Grand Slams. I don’t know if I will have a regular partner or not. I’m good at playing with anyone and it’s all fun for me.

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