Max Purcell, 21, speaks on upcoming Australian Open Wildcard Play-off final


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Max Purcell, 21, speaks on upcoming Australian Open Wildcard Play-off final

Rising Australian star Max Purcell is hoping his Grand Slam debut will come in front of his home fans at the Australian Open. Purcell, 21, came a win away from securing a wildcard for the event after beating Alex Bolt 7-6 (3) 6-2 6-3 in the Australian Open Wildcard Play-off semifinal.

Bolt was the top-ranked player at the event and the No. 1 seed but stood no chance against Purcell. Next up for world No. 222 Purcell will be John-Patrick Smith, who beat Maverick Banes in the semifinal. "It would be huge — especially in Australia, to play here.

It’s your home Slam, you get all the crowd behind you. So main draw, five sets, I’m really looking forward to (the opportunity to play for that),” Purcell told Tennis Australia. “I’ve played (Smith) once before, I spent a lot of time on the road with him.

JP’s a funny guy. He’s kind of crafty like me a bit. I think there’ll be a lot of serve-volleying, a lot of coming to the net in our match. I was hoping they’d go a little bit longer (in their semifinal) just tiring them out a little bit (smiling). “But I’m fresh, he’s going to be fresh. It should be a really competitive match."