Eastbourne, Great Britain , 29 June 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Eastbourne, Great Britain

Max Purcell has rediscovered top form at an ATP 250 grass-court tournament in Eastbourne this week and been rewarded with a major career milestone.

The 26-year-old from Sydney edged out British wildcard Billy Harris 6-4 4-6 6-4 in the semifinals today to advance to his first ATP Tour singles final.

This continues a stunning resurgence for Purcell, who had only won six tour-level matches for the season prior to this tournament.

“I feel everything is coming together,” the world No.94 said. “It feels good.

“Qualifying in Halle (last week) definitely gave me some confidence, I had a couple of straight-set matches there. I felt like I was due to get a couple more wins, I just didn’t know how many.”

Having recorded six singles wins already this week, the Aussie qualifier carries impressive momentum into a final showdown with world No.13 Taylor Fritz.

The top-seeded American ended the run of Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic in the semifinals, firing 15 aces and winning 96 per cent of first-serve points in a 7-6(5) 7-6(4) victory.

Earlier in the day, Matt Ebden and John Peers suffered a heartbreaking loss in the men’s doubles final.

The Aussie pair, who will team up at the Olympic Games next month, led 6-4 5-3 against Brit Neal Skupski and New Zealand’s Michael Venus. However, their fourth-seeded opponents fought back to record a 4-6 7-6(2) [11-9] victory.

World No.1 Ebden and world No.55 Peers had two championship points – one at 5-4 in the second set, then another at 9-8 in the match tiebreak.

Aussies in action – Eastbourne

Men’s singles, semifinals
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) d [WC] Billy Harris (GBR) 6-4 4-6 6-4
[1] Taylor Fritz (USA) d [LL] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 7-6(5) 7-6(4)

Men’s doubles, final
[4] Neal Skupski (GBR)/Michael Venus (NZL) d [3] Matt Ebden (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) 4-6 7-6(2) [11-9]

Men’s singles, final
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) v [1] Taylor Fritz (USA)

Bad Homburg, Germany

Ellen Perez and American partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez have advanced to the doubles final at a WTA 500 tournament in Bad Homburg.

The top-seeded duo continued their impressive march through the draw, scoring a 6-3 6-4 victory against Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri and Estonian Ingrid Neel in the semifinals.

It is their third consecutive straight-sets win this week, all of which have been by the same 6-3 6-4 scoreline.

This effort propels Perez and Melichar-Martinez, who are the co-ranked world No.9s, into their 13th WTA final as a team and their fourth of the season.

World No.24 Chan Hao-Ching and world No.38 Veronika Kudermetova await in the championship match.

These two teams met in the quarterfinals at an WTA event in Berlin last week, where Chan and Kudermetova triumphed in three tight sets.

Aussies in action – Bad Homburg

Women’s doubles, semifinals
[1] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) d Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR)/Ingrid Neel (EST) 6-3 6-4

Women’s doubles, final 
[1] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Chan Hao-Ching (TPE)/Veronika Kudermetova

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