Eastbourne A Week To Remember For Purcell

Max Purcell (photo: @atptour/Twitter)

EASTBOURNE/WASHINGTON, June 24, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

Imagine it’s less than a week from the start of the Wimbledon Championships and you score the biggest win of your career – and do it as a lucky loser. That’s what happened to Australia’s Max Purcell at the ATP 250 Viking International at Eastbourne, England, on Wednesday afternoon.

The World No. 283 Purcell reached his first ATP Tour quarterfinal by defeating top-seeded Gaël Monfils of France, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 10 minutes at Devonshire Park. He struck nine aces and won 76 percent (41 of 54) of his first-serve points against the World No. 16 Monfils, who pounded out 16 aces of his own. .Purcell also converted four of nine break points and outpointed Monfils 111-103.

“It feels unbelievable,” Purcell said during an on-court interview after his win. “The last nine months, I’ve struggled to get into any singles events, just been primarily playing doubles. So, to get on a run here, on my favorite surface, is great, winning some good matches. I was lucky to be in the main draw after losing my last match in qualies with that lucky loser spot. I’m taking full advantage of it.

“I thought I’d come out and have a go. When I missed the opportunity to close out the match at 5-4 in the second set, Gaël showed what a good player he is.”

After beating 2018 Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson in the first round of Eastbourne qualifying, then following it up in the main draw with a three-set win over Australian qualifier James Duckworth, Purcell will face 2011 Eastbourne champion and fellow lucky loser Andreas Seppi. The 95th-ranked Italian advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 79 Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland.

Three seeds advanced to the quarterfinals. Second seed Alex de Minaur of Australia improved to 17-14 with his 6-3, 6-4 win over 144th-ranked British wild card Liam Broady. Also, No. 3 seed Lorenzo Sonego of Italy beat No. 43 John Millman of Australia, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 8 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan defeated No. 72 Egor Gerasimov of Belarus, 6-2, 6-2.

Wednesday’s ATP Eastbourne results 

No. 1 seed Sabalenka wins, but four seeds fall in women’s draw

On the women’s side of the Eastbourne Viking International draw, a WTA 500-series event, No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus advanced to the quarterfinals with an easy 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 31 Alison Riske of the United States in 67 minutes in back of 34 winners. She saved the only two break points she faced and closed out the victory with her 10th ace in improving her career record against Riske to 4-0.

However, it was a day of frustration for other seeded players:

No. 2 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, No. 3 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada, No. 4 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland and No. 6 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland all lost. Add to the causality list American Coco Gauff and Viking Birmingham champion Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, whose six-match winning streak was snapped.

What remains of the women’s draw heading into Thursday’s quarterfinals? Sabalenka will face 75th-ranked qualifier Camila Giorgi of Italy, who beat 47th-ranked lucky loser Shelby Rogers of the United States, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

No. 27 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, whose only career title came on grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2017, took out Andreescu, 6-3, 6-3. She will take on 72nd-ranked qualifier Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland, who beat Bencic, 6-4, 6-4, for her 39th victory of the season in all competitions.

“I thought I played a really good match today,” said Kontaveit, quoted by the WTA website. It was it 13th career win over a Top 10 foe. “I was consistent throughout the whole match and felt like I really kept my level up and played some good tennis.”

No. 43 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, slayer of Jabeur, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, will oppose Birmingham finalist Daria Kasatkina of Russia, victor over Swiatek, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.

“When you are winning matches like this, the confidence grows,” the No. 34 Kasatkina said after garnering the 13th Top 10 win of her career. “Also, every day is a different day, different match. Every day you spend on grass is good, because you get more and more confidence, you feel better, you understand more.”

Lucky loser Anastasija Sevastova, ranked 61st, a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 winner against No. 23 Gauff, will play No. 21 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who hit 32 winners and took out Svitolina, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Wednesday’s WTA Eastbourne results

Wimbledon seeds revealed

The men’s and women’s singles seeds as well as the men’s and women’s doubles seeds were revealed on Wednesday at the All England Club.

The top eight seeds for the Gentlemen’s singles are: 1. Novak Djokovic, 2. Daniil Medvedev, 3. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 4. Dominic Thiem, 5. Alexander Zverev, 6. Andrey Rublev, 7. Roger Federer, 8. Matteo Berrettini.

The top eight seeds for the Ladies’ singles are: 1. Ashleigh Barty, 2. Simona Halep, 3. Aryna Sabalenka, 4. Elina Svitolina, 5. Sofia Kenin, 6. Bianca Andreescu, 7. Serena Williams, 8. Iga Swiatek.

The top four seeds for the Gentlemen’s doubles are: 1. Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, 2. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, 3. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, 4. Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

The top four seeds for the Ladies’ doubles are: 1. Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, 2. Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, 3. Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens, 4. Nicole Melichar and Demi Schuurs.

The 2021 Wimbledon Championships begin on Monday, June 28 and continue through Sunday, July 11.

Wimbledon qualifying completes second day

Nine of the top 10 men’s seeds in the Wimbledon qualifying draw have made it through to the third and final round of qualifying.

No. 1 Kamil Majchrzak of Poland, No. 2 Mackenzie McDonald of the United States, No. 4 Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina, No. 5. Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan, No. 6 Denis Kudla of the U.S., No. 7 Arthur Rinderknech of France, No. 8 Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, No. 9 Benjamin Bonzi of France and No. 10 Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain all won their second-round matches on Wednesday.

However, No. 3 seed Andrej Martin of Slovakia was upset by Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, 6-1, 6-2. A total of 19 of the original 32 seeds remain in contention for 16 qualifying berths into the main draw.

Meanwhile, women’s No. 1 seed Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over Liang En-Shuo of Taiwan in an hour and 54 minutes.

Among the seeds who have reached the third round of qualifying are: No. 4 Anna Kalinskaya of Russia, No. 12 Wang Yafan of China, No. 15 Greet Minnen of Belgium, No. 16 Claire Liu of the U.S. and No. 19 Astra Sharma of Australia.

Because of Monday’s rain out, qualifying has been extended through Friday.

Wednesday’s Wimbledon qualifying results

Thursday’s Wimbledon qualifying order of play

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