Popyrin, Purcell building form in Winston-Salem
Alexei Popyrin and Max Purcell are through to the final qualifying round at an ATP 250 tournament in Winston-Salem.
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
 Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d Mukund Sasikumar (IND) 6-1 7-6(6)
 Max Purcell (AUS) d John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 3-6 6-1 6-4
Men’s qualifying singles, final round
 Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v  Yosuke Watanuki (JPN)
 Max Purcell (AUS) v  Denis Kudla (USA)
Men’s singles, first round
 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  Simone Bolelli (ITA)/Maximo Gonzalez (ARG)
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  Shuko Aoyama (JPN)/Ena Shibahara (JPN)