Max Purcell’s crazy journey to reach Cincinnati

Max Purcell's crazy journey to reach Cincinnati

Georges Brassens sang “Happy who like Ulysses has made a beautiful journey, happy who like Ulysses has seen a hundred landscapes”. A song that Max Purcell could take up on his own, as arriving in Ohio was complicated for the Australian. Out of qualifying, he will face Carlos Alcaraz this Friday in the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati.

Last week, Purcell competed in the double of the Masters 1000 in Toronto alongside Russian Andrey Rublev. The pair reached the quarter-finals for a match that ended on Friday afternoon. Small problem for Purcell, his first qualifying round for Cincinnati was scheduled for the next day at 4 p.m. Suffice to say that you shouldn’t hang around in Ontario. New problem, impossible to find a flight on Friday evening. The journey could begin.

Purcell then pulls out his phone and orders… an Uber. For nearly four hours, he crossed Ontario to the town of Windsor, near the American border. End of the first stage because his driver cannot take him across the border. On the side of the road, the 25-year-old Australian manages to find a taxi that agrees to take him across the border. You will still have to spend an hour at customs.

Once in the United States, it is impossible to find a driver who agrees to go so far to Ohio. It is now Saturday and it is 1:30 a.m. when Purcell finally finds a hotel. He finds a theft in stride. A flight that takes off at 6:00 a.m. The night is short, but Purcell finally arrives in Cincinnati. Time to take a nap at the players’ hotel and he arrives at the Lindner Family Tennis Center to enter directly on the court where Luca Van Assche, seeded No. 12 in the qualifying tournament, is waiting for him. Purcell starts his match without going through the warm-up box and drops the first set before winning (4-6, 6-3, 6-3). The next day, he again dropped the first set against Alex Popyrin before winning (6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4).

Qualified, he is now in the quarter-finals against world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz. The journey was worth it.


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