Qualifier Purcell fires Wimbledon warning
Triumphant qualifier Max Purcell is ready to cause Wimbledon carnage, declaring some of the world's best players prefer to play golf than tennis on grass.
Purcell booked his ticket to tennis's biggest show for the first time with a plucky 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory over Nuno Borges in the final round of qualifying at Roehampton on Thursday.
"That's the first thing you want as a kid - to play Wimbledon - and to it after not playing a whole lot of singles this year, it's great," Purcell told AAP.
The Sydneysider frustrated Borges with his funky forehand slice, a rarely used shot that Purcell believes gives him an edge over his higher-ranked rivals.
"Last year I started hitting an absolute ton of them and I've never felt so comfortable with the same shot," he said.
"To be honest, I feel so comfortable with my slice on both sides. I feel like with the minimal amount of time everyone else gets on grass and how comfortable I feel on grass, I just think it works.
"It's something I can rely on because I feel like I'm never going to miss it and he was pretty good if he had anything shoulder height.
"So I just thought if I could just keep the balls around his knees or lower and pin him like that, then I'm in with a better chance."
Full of confidence after also bagging four wins on grass at Surbiton, and snaring the scalp former Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey, Purcell doesn't care who he strikes in Friday's draw.
"I don't really mind who I play. There are so many players who are uncomfortable on the surface," the 24-year-old world No.156 said.
"You've got Casper (Ruud) at No.3. Nothing against him but he already tells me that he uses grass to play golf on. He doesn't really give a rats how he goes or how he plays on it.
"So I'll play anyone.
"Even if you play Rafa or Novak, you're going to be on one of the main courts and that's exactly what you want as well.
"There's no bad draws."
Fellow Australian Chris O'Connell, the world No.109, opted out of Wimbledon because the event isn't offering any rankings points in the absence of world No.1 Daniil Medvedev and other Russian and Belarusian players banned by the All England Club from competing.
But Purcell said there was "no chance," he'd ever sit out his sport's most prestigious tournament.
"I can understand with his ranking and where he is but even if I was at that ranking, I wouldn't have made that decision," he said.
"I love grass; it's a surface I want to try and make a name for myself on and you can still make a name for yourself playing for no points."
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