Melbourne, Australia , 15 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

It’s rare to see a serve-and-volley in the modern game, but Australian Max Purcell is proudly bucking that trend.

The 25-year-old’s net-rushing style has caught the attention of several Australian greats in the past year, who have predicted his rapid rise up the singles rankings will continue.

Todd Woodbridge, a former world No.1 doubles star who achieved a top-20 singles rankings, declared that Purcell has the ability to go deep into a Grand Slam singles draw.

More recently, 28-time Grand Slam champion John Newcombe forecast that Purcell could break into the world’s top 20 during 2024.

Purcell, who cracked the world’s top 40 in a breakout 2023 season, told that such affirmations meant “a lot”.

“I think it’s really different,” Purcell said of his game style.

“It’s kind of like how they (Woodbridge and Newcombe) played back in the day. It’s kind of bringing the old vision of tennis.”

As well as being an effective strategy to disrupt the rhythm of players who prefer to dictate from the baseline, Purcell believes that creativity around the net also makes matches more entertaining and unpredictable.

“I enjoy watching doubles for that net aspect so much more than singles,” Purcell admitted.

“I feel like the singles game can get a bit boring or repetitive to watch sometimes, so I hope that I bring a bit of that interesting aspect for the spectators and the old greats.”

Purcell is currently Australia’s third-highest ranked men’s singles player at world No.45.

He begins his Australian Open 2024 campaign tomorrow against Hungarian qualifier Mate Valkusz.

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