Winston-Salem, USA, 22 August 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Winston-Salem, USA

As they look to build form ahead of the US Open, Australians Alexei Popyrin and Max Purcell have advanced to the final qualifying round at an ATP 250 tournament in Winston-Salem.

Top-seeded Popyrin scored a 6-1 7-6(6) win against Indian Mukund Sasikumar today, hitting 11 aces in an 84-minute match.

It provides a much-needed confidence boost for the world No.74, who had only won two of his previous 13 matches.

Purcell, on the other hand, entered the event with brimming confidence. The 23-year-old had won 11 of his past 16 matches and been rewarded with a US Open wildcard.

The world No.206 continued his winning run – but had to fight hard to overcome compatriot John-Patrick Smith in their first-round qualifying clash. Purcell eventually prevailed 3-6 6-1 6-4 in a one-hour and 48-minute contest.

Popyrin and Purcell are aiming to join four Australian men – John Millman, Jordan Thompson, James Duckworth and Nick Kyrgios – already in the singles main draw.

Aussies in action – Winston-Salem

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
[1] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d Mukund Sasikumar (IND) 6-1 7-6(6)
[5] Max Purcell (AUS) d John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 3-6 6-1 6-4

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
[1] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [6] Yosuke Watanuki (JPN)
[5] Max Purcell (AUS)
v [2] Denis Kudla (USA)

Men’s singles, first round
[8] John Millman (AUS) v Bye
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Guido Pella (ARG)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v [WC] Andy Murray (GBR)
James Duckworth (AUS) v Thiago Monteiro (BRA)

Men’s doubles, first round
Luke Saville (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v [4] Simone Bolelli (ITA)/Maximo Gonzalez (ARG)

Cleveland, USA

After advancing to the quarterfinals at a WTA 125 tournament in Chicago, Storm Sanders is aiming to continue her good form at a WTA 250 event in Cleveland this week.

The Australian, who has been granted a US Open main draw wildcard, has been pitted against a yet-to-be-determined qualifier in the opening round.

Anastasia Rodionova is making her return from maternity leave in the doubles draw, with the 39-year-old contesting her first tour-level tournament since Australian Open 2019.

Aussies in action – Cleveland

Women’s singles, first round
Storm Sanders (AUS) v Qualifier

Women’s doubles, first round
Anastasia Rodionova (AUS)/Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) v [1] Shuko Aoyama (JPN)/Ena Shibahara (JPN)