Rising from outside the top 200 to achieve his top-50 singles breakthrough, Max Purcell aims to add Australian Davis Cup team highs to his dream season.
Alongside the handy net game and deft athleticism that’s already helped him claim a Grand Slam doubles trophy, Max Purcell can proudly boast a ‘success-breeds-success’ mentality – as a spectacular rise in 2023 attests.
From qualifying to contest the Australian Open main draw at the start of the season, the Australian was soon celebrating the trio of ATP Challenger victories that led to his top-100 singles breakthrough.
Purcell built on that milestone with wins over Felix Auger-Aliassime, Casper Ruud and Stan Wawrinka – among others – throughout a stellar North American swing featuring quarterfinal appearances at ATP tournaments in Cincinnati and Winston Salem.
Ranked No.220 in singles at the start of the season, Purcell now sits at a career-high world No.43.
It validates a move to prioritise his singles game after seizing the Wimbledon 2022 men’s doubles title with countryman Matt Ebden. The 25-year-old told tennis.com.au that the career-defining decision was affirmed during his Davis Cup debut for Australia last year in Hamburg.
“I felt like I had too much left on the table for singles. Regardless if I was going to make the top 100 or not, I just wanted to kind of give it everything,” explained Purcell, who felt he’d made sufficient gains in strength and maturity at that point.
“I thought ‘you know, now’s my time to kind of see how I can go’, so I’m glad it’s all panned out.”
As he prepares alongside fellow Australians for this week’s Davis Cup Finals in Manchester, the 25-year-old is focused on transforming those gains into team breakthroughs – and whether that’s in singles or doubles, Purcell is simply proud to compete.
“I think I’ll be playing all the doubles, which I can’t wait for,” he told tennis.com.au of Australia’s impending assignments against Great Britain (from 1pm in Manchester/10pm AEST on Wednesday), France (Thursday) and Switzerland (Saturday).
“And depending on how the next few days training goes, or what the team wants, I’ll be ready for singles if they call me, but I’ll also be ready to sit on the bench and ride all the matches hard for the boys if they’re playing…