Purcell scores breakthrough clay-court victory
Australia's Max Purcell has made an encouraging start to the clay-court season.
Max Purcell has claimed his first main-draw singles win at an ATP clay-court tournament.
The 25-year-old, who is in career-best form and sitting at a career-high ranking of world No.86, posted a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory against Germany’s Daniel Altmaier in a rain-delayed opening-round clash at an ATP 250 tournament in Houston.
This continues an incredible run for Purcell, who has won 23 of his past 25 matches to skyrocket up the rankings.
The Sydney talent now faces eighth-seeded Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the second round.
Rain continues to cause havoc to the Houston schedule, with only two matches completed today.
This leaves a backlog of matches to play in coming days. Purcell, who is also through to the doubles quarterfinals alongside fellow Aussie Jordan Thompson, is scheduled to potentially play four matches (two singles and two doubles) tomorrow.
Aussies in action – Houston
Men’s singles, first round
Max Purcell (AUS) d Daniel Altmaier (GER) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Men’s singles, second round
 Jason Kubler (AUS) v Daniel Elahi Galan (COL)
Max Purcell (AUS) v  Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG)
Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
 Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v Robert Galloway (USA)/Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v  Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Jackson Withrow (USA)
Storm Hunter and American partner Caroline Dolehide have been knocked out in the doubles semifinal at a WTA 500 tournament in Charleston.
Top-seeded duo Guiliana Olmos of Mexico and Ena Shibahara of Japan posted a 7-6(4) 6-4 victory in their semifinal meeting.
Aussies in action – Charleston
Women’s doubles, semifinals
 Guiliana Olmos (MEX)/Ena Shibahara (JPN) d  Storm Hunter (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) 7-6(4) 6-4
Chris O’Connell’s career-best run at an ATP clay-court event has come to an end.
Russia’s Pavel Kotov edged out a 6-3 6-7(6) 7-6(3) victory in their quarterfinal battle at an ATP 250 tournament in Marrakech.
O’Connell, contesting his first tour-level quarterfinal on clay, fought back from a 3-6 3-5 deficit to force the match into a deciding set.
The 28-year-old Australian couldn’t maintain this momentum though, despite building a 4-2 advantage in the third set.
World No.114 Kotov fought back to close out victory in two hours and 53 minutes.
Aussies in action – Marrakech
Men’s singles, quarterfinals
Pavel Kotov d Chris O’Connell (AUS) 6-3 6-7(6) 7-6(3)
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