Australia’s Max Purcell and Alexei Popyrin are into their first ever Masters series quarterfinals.
Popyrin who had lost to Purcell in round two qualifying is making the most of his lucky loser entry. He had some help along the way when Nicolas Jarry withdrew from a second round match.
Purcell backed up his win over world no. 7 Casper Ruud in the second round to defeat an in-form Stan Wawrinka.
The chip and charge tactics of Purcell were not handled well by Wawrinka and Purcell was able to break his opponent three times and not drop serve himself as he cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Purcell faces the ulitime test in the quarterfinals where he is drawn to play world no. 1 Carlos Alcaraz.
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.”
Popyrin earned his first masters quarterfinal with an up and down performance against world no. 60 Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland
The 24-year-old Australian recorded a 6-2 1-6 6-3 victory to extend his lucky loser run.
Earlier he had spoken about getting the call to join the tournament.
“I was on the couch, literally switched on the PS5 to play FIFA with my physio, because we have a lot of FIFA battles,” Popyrin told ATPTour.com. “I got the call from the ATP Tour managers telling me that I have to be on court in five minutes. And I had just come into the centre literally 10 minutes before that.”
Popyrin will next face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz the world no. 20 and a previous winner at Masters level.