Max Purcell’s Arduous Journey to the Cincy Tennis Main Draw

Aug 13, 2023
Max Purcell hits a forehand

Max Purcell spent last week in Toronto playing doubles with Andrey Rublev, reaching the quarterfinals before their run ended late Friday afternoon.

With his first match here scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, the 25-year-old Australian knew he had to get to Cincinnati ASAP. However, he was not able to find a flight for Friday evening, which is where his adventure begins.

Purcell left Toronto in an Uber, driving across Ontario for a 3.5-hour ride to Windsor. The driver, however, was not going to take him across the border, leaving Purcell out at the side of the road. Eventually he got a taxi to take him into the United States, a process that included an hour to get through border patrol.

Once in the U.S., Purcell was unable to find a driver who was willing to take him south into Ohio. He finally settled into a hotel around 1:30 a.m. before waking up at 6 a.m. for a flight to complete the journey.

Upon arriving in Cincinnati, Purcell went to his hotel to take a nap then arrived on-site and took to the court without even warming up. He dropped the opening set against No. 12 seed Luca Van Assche but rallied for a 4-6. 6-3. 6-3 win in 1:56.

On Sunday, Purcell took on fellow Australian Alexei Popyrin who is just one week removed from winning his first career ATP title. Another three-set thriller ensued, with Purcell prevailing 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4.

Purcell’s Masters 1000 debut will come Tuesday when he faces South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. He will be back in action Monday as the 2022 Wimbledon doubles winner will again be teaming up with Rublev and they will face Lloyd Glasspool & Harri Heliovaara.