Sydney, Australia, 17 March 2023 |

Max Purcell has come a long way since first picking up a racquet at Tennis Cove in Sydney’s Eastern Valley Way.

Purcell and his twin brother, Harry, began tennis lessons aged three, following their older sister, Jordan, into the sport.

“As soon as we could hang onto a tennis racquet, Mum threw us into (lessons),” Purcell recalled.

His favourite early memories include exploring his local tennis club to find bugs and lizards.

“That was the main reason I wanted to go,” he laughed.

It did not take long for Purcell to fall in love with the sport – and he’s since scaled some impressive heights.

Purcell, who turns 25 next month, won the Wimbledon gentlemen’s doubles title alongside fellow Aussie Matt Ebden last season and peaked at a career-high doubles ranking of world No.25.

He is also a two-time Australian Open doubles finalist and has represented Australia in Davis Cup and at the Olympic Games.

Purcell is now making singles his priority and has made an incredible start to the 2023 season.

He recently won three ATP Challenger singles titles, helping him climb from outside the world’s top 200 to a career-high world No.95.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot more to give in singles,” Purcell explained of his decision to focus on singles this season.

Purcell shares an insight into his practice routines and important career lessons in our Training tips series …

Max, what is your ideal time to practice?

I think every tennis player likes an 11am start. You don’t have to wake up too early and you get to kind of cruise into the day. Realistically matches don’t start anywhere until 10am. So, any earlier than that is kind of a bit silly, because you’re getting used to the wrong times. For me, I like that middle of the day period as it gives me time after to recover.

Do you like to follow routine on the practice court?

Not really, I’m a pretty chilled guy. I’m not that physical with my warm-ups before matches, maybe as I get a bit older, I’ll need to do a little bit more. But I’m pretty cruisy.

Do you have a least favourite part of your game to practice?

I’m kind of easy all round. I’m not too bothered with what kind of training it is, I enjoy my job.

What about running? A lot of players say they don’t enjoy that aspect.

I actually did a bunch of running training during COVID. My brother was training for a triathlon, so I was doing a tonne of long-distance running with him.

Do you remember who the first professional tennis player you got to practice with was?

No, I couldn’t tell you.

Are there any practice sessions that stand out as the most memorable?

I hit with Novak (Djokovic) in 2017 at the start of the year. I was really looking forward to it and he rocked up 45 minutes late. The session was alright up until we played points. Then his coaches gave me the flick, which was pretty annoying.

Is there anyone on tour who you haven’t practised with yet, but would love the opportunity to do so?

Not really. I’ve had some shockers. I had (Grigor) Dimitrov ask me for an hour-long hit once and he only gave me 14 minutes. Then he asked me again and gave me 12 minutes, so I’ve canned a lot of them since that.

Are there any past players that you would love the chance to practice with?

I’d love to hit with Pat Rafter. I like to serve and volley a lot, and use the net a lot, which you don’t see a lot of these days. I’d love to be able to pick his brain, hit with him and see where he could take me.

What keeps you busy when you are not competing or training?

I like to cook, so like to cook myself something nice.

What is the best advice you have received in your career?

I’m not sure. I let too much stuff sink in, I’m a bit of a sponge.

What is the biggest lesson that tennis has taught you about life outside of the sport?

Don’t take yourself too seriously. I’ve definitely had some bad times, but also some really good times. You never know what is around the corner.

Is there any advice you wish you could share with your younger self?

I don’t know, I’m pretty pumped with where I’m at right now.

Read more in our Training Tips series:
> Alex Bolt
> Lizette Cabrera
> Jaimee Fourlis
> Priscilla Hon
> Storm Hunter
> Maddison Inglis
> Jason Kubler
> John Peers
> Luke Saville
> Astra Sharma
> John-Patrick Smith
> Aleksandar Vukic

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