Eastbourne, UK, 24 June 2021 | Leigh Rogers


Australia’s Max Purcell has scored the biggest win of his career at an ATP 250 tournament in Eastbourne.

The 23-year-old, who is a lucky loser in the draw, stunned top seed Gael Monfils in the second round. Purcell’s 6-4 5-7 6-4 victory is his first against a top 20-ranked opponent.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Purcell. “I’ve struggled to get into any singles events over the past nine months and primarily played doubles, so to get on a run here, on my favourite surface, is great.”

Purcell, who is ranked No.283, had never beaten a player ranked inside the top 80. But he proved fearless against the world No.16 to advance to his first ATP-level singles quarterfinal.

“I thought I’d come out and have a go,” Purcell said of his mindset.

It continues a remarkable week for Purcell, who is a top 50-ranked doubles player and enjoying a successful partnership with fellow Australian Luke Saville. He defeated former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson in qualifying, then scored his third career top-100 win against Aussie James Duckworth in the opening round.

Purcell now faces Italian veteran Andreas Seppi, a 37-year-old ranked No.95 and the tournament’s 2011 champion, in the quarterfinals.

Alex de Minaur, the tournament’s second seed, continued his impressive grass-court form to reach his third tour-level quarterfinal in as many weeks. The 22-year-old Australian advanced with a 6-3 6-4 win against British wildcard Liam Broady.

John Millman and Alexei Popyrin both lost their second-round matches.

In doubles action, John Peers and John-Patrick Smith booked a quarterfinal spot with a 6-3 6-3 win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik and American Nicholas Monroe.

Aussies in action – Eastbourne

Men’s singles, second round
[2] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d [WC] Liam Broady (GBR) 6-3 6-4
[LL] Max Purcell (AUS)
d [1] Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-4 5-7 6-4
[3] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) d  John Millman (AUS) 6-4 6-2 
[Q] Ilya Ivashka (BLR) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-7(5) 7-5 6-3

Men’s doubles, first round
John Peers (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Alexander Bublik (KAZ)/Nicholas Monroe (USA) 6-3 6-3
[WC] Lloyd Glasspool (GBR)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN) d Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) 6-2 6-3

Women’s doubles, first round
Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Makoto Ninomiya (JPN) d Sam Stosur (AUS)/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-0 7-6(2)

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[2] Alex de Minaur (AUS)
v Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
[LL] Max Purcell (AUS)
v [LL] Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
John Peers (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v [3] Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR)

> READ: Seven Aussies left in Wimbledon qualifying


Australian Jordan Thompson is through to the quarterfinals at an ATP 250 tournament in Mallorca. It is the 27-year-old’s best result since February.

Thompson served eight aces and did not face a break point in a 6-4 6-4 victory against Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein in the second round. It sets up a quarterfinal showdown with world No.13 Pablo Carreno Busta.

The fourth-seeded Carreno Busta recorded a straight-sets win against Thompson in their only previous meeting, which was on clay earlier this year. The 29-year-old Spaniard is not as confident on grass, however, having only recorded three career wins on the surface at tour-level.

Aussies in action – Mallorca

Men’s singles, second round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) d [Q] Lukas Klein (SVK) 6-4 6-4

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
Jordan Thompson (AUS)
v [4] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)

> READ: Four Australians into final qualifying round at Wimbledon