Melbourne, Australia, 12 January 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Determined to make his mark in singles this year, Max Purcell has made a promising start by qualifying at Australian Open 2023.

The 24-year-old from Sydney earned a coveted main-draw spot with a 6-4 6-3 win against Italian Matteo Arnaldi in final-round qualifying action at Melbourne Park today.

“A Grand Slam is where you want to be,” Purcell said. “I’m really lucky and grateful that I managed to sneak through.”

Purcell produced a strong serving display against world No.134 Arnaldi, firing 11 aces and winning 77 per cent of first serve points.

This helped the Wimbledon 2022 doubles champion navigate some extreme momentum swings throughout the match. From 0-40 on his serve at 3-4 in the opening set, Purcell recovered to hold and reel off seven consecutive games.

The 21-year-old Arnaldi, who was competing in his first Australian Open and attempting to qualify at a major tournament for the first time, briefly fought back to win three straight games.

But Purcell, a two-time Australian Open doubles finalist, steadied to win the final three games of the 75-minute encounter.

Purcell becomes only the second Australian man to successfully qualify twice at the Australian Open in Melbourne Park’s 35-year history – and the first to achieve this feat in 30 years.

He has done so in impressive fashion too, not dropping a set across his three matches this week.

This is the third time world No.204 Purcell has qualified for a Grand Slam singles tournament in his career, matching his efforts at Australian Open 2020 and Wimbledon 2022.

He will make his fourth major appearance in total, having also competed at the US Open in 2021 as a wildcard.

“I’m really liking the conditions and the court speed, so I can’t see why I can’t do a bit of damage,” Purcell said of his Australian Open chances.

Purcell becomes the 10th local contender in the Australian Open 2023 men’s singles field, joining Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Chris O’Connell, Jordan Thompson, Thanasi Kokkinakis, as well as wildcards Jason Kubler, Alexei Popyrin, Rinky Hijikata and John Millman.

Aleksandar Vukic, a 26-year-old from Sydney ranked world No.129, boosted that number to 11 when he also qualified.

It is the first time since 2017 that multiple Australian men have qualified at the tournament – and only the second time this has happened in the past 20 years.

Main-draw action at Australian Open 2023 begins on Monday 16 January.

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AUSSIES IN ACTION – Australian Open

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
Max Purcell (AUS) d [22] Matteo Arnaldi (ITA) 6-4 6-3
[21] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d [9] Michael Mmoh (USA) 6-1 6-4
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) d [WC] Tristan Schoolkate (AUS) 6-1 6-4

> READ: Australian Open 2023 main draws revealed

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