Cincinnati, USA, 17 August 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Alexei Popyrin and Max Purcell have continued their career-best runs at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati.

Popyrin, who entered the draw as a lucky loser after being edged out by Purcell in a three-set battle in the final qualifying round, is now through to the men’s singles quarterfinals.

The 24-year-old Australian recorded a 6-2 1-6 6-3 victory against world No.60 Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in the third round.

This sets up a quarterfinal clash with world No.20 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who has eliminated defending champion Borna Coric and world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a giant-killing run this week.

World No.58 Popyrin’s previous best result at ATP Masters 1000 level was a fourth-round appearance at Rome earlier this year.

Purcell, who recorded his career-first main-draw win at an ATP Masters 1000 event in Toronto last week, is also through to the quarterfinals.

The 25-year-old Australian posted a 6-4 6-2 victory against three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the third round.

World No.70 Purcell struck seven aces and did not lose serve in the 72-minute encounter.

It is Purcell’s eighth victory from his nine singles matches in the past fortnight. Five of these wins have been against higher-ranked opponents.

“The last two weeks I’ve had this really good routine in between every point and at the change of ends,” Purcell said.

“Some of the things I say to myself, it’s really helped me mentally in-between every point, kind of just re-set and not worry about it. Honestly, I haven’t felt too nervous in the biggest occasions. I’ve taken it point-by-point and told myself that, and yeah, it’s worked.”

His latest victory sets up a final-eight showdown with world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz.

This marks the first time in 21 years that two Australian men have progressed to the singles quarterfinals at Cincinnati. Lleyton Hewitt and Wayne Arthurs were the last to achieve this feat in 2002.

In men’s doubles action, John Peers and Croatian partner Nikola Mektic booked their spot in the quarterfinals with a hard-fought 7-5 2-6 [13-11] win against seventh-seeded German pair Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz.

World No.40 Peers and world No.24 Mektic, who are teaming up for the first time this week, clinched victory on their fourth match point in a tense match tiebreak.

This propels 35-year-old Peers into his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal of the season and matches his career-best result at Cincinnati.

Storm Hunter and Belgian partner Elise Mertens needed only 74 minutes to secure a place in the women’s doubles quarterfinals.

The second seeds conceded only 11 points on serve in a dominant 6-4 6-1 second-round victory against Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu and Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Ellen Perez and her American partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez are through to the women’s doubles semifinals, after surviving a spirited challenge from Japan’s Miyu Kato and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi in the quarterfinals.

The third-seeded Perez and Melichar-Martinez won 7-5 4-6 [10-8] to reach the semifinals for the second year in a row.

Aussies in action – Cincinnati

Men’s singles, third round
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) d Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 6-4 6-2
[LL] Alexei Popyrin (AUS)
d Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-2 1-6 6-3

Men’s doubles, second round
John Peers (AUS)/Nikola Mektic (CRO) d [7] Kevin Krawietz (GER)/Tim Puetz (GER) 7-5 2-6 [13-11]
[6] Santiago Gonzalez (MEX)/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d Max Purcell (AUS)/Andrey Rublev 4-6 6-3 [10-7]
[WC] Christopher Eubanks (USA)/Ben Shelton (USA) d [4] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) 7-6(4) 2-6 [10-7]

Women’s doubles, second round
[2] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) d Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)/Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-4 6-1

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
[3] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) d Miyu Kato (JPN)/Aldila Sutjiadi (IND) 7-5 4-6 [10-8]

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) v [1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)
[LL] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Hubert Hurkacz (POL)

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
John Peers (AUS)/Nikola Mektic (CRO) v Maximo Gonzalez (ARG)/Andres Molteni (ARG)

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
[2] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/Luisa Stefani (BRA)

Women’s doubles, semifinals
[3] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v TBC

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