- Purcell left fuming after ballkid picked up a water bottle
- Aussie star complained to the umpire about the distraction
- Purcell has been left less than impressed by Melbourne’s coffee
Aussie fan favourite Max Purcell complained to an umpire about a ballkid during his Australian Open win on Tuesday – before taking a swipe at Melbourne’s coffee.
Purcell, a 25-year-old Sydneysider who has a Wimbledon doubles title to his name, was distracted by a ballkid picking up a water bottle during the fourth set of his 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over Mate Valkusz in the first round on Tuesday.
‘He’s literally in the serve, I’m watching the ball, kid’s just started walking off the court,’ Purcell said.
‘You see the ball girl? It’s your point [Valkusz], it’s fine. She’s picked up a drink bottle and started walking off the court. She’s walked over and around.’
Purcell was visibly agitated, but was not arguing that the point should be replayed.
Aussie Max Purcell beat Hungarian qualifier Mate Valkusz in a heated four-setter
‘I’m sure the ball-kid there maybe thought the game was over, or just got confused over what stage of the point it was. He had a point but the umpire didn’t see it,’ commentators on Nine explained.
Despite the distraction, the Aussie was able to win the match and will face Casper Ruud in the second round.
Purcell said the support from the crowd at Kia Arena was crucial for his win.
‘I definitely needed you guys’ support… I was gagging there. You really helped me get over the line,’ he said.
‘I was kind of like “turn it up” – the guy was pummelling me.
‘He cracked and I got through it. I think it started working for me when he started guessing on my first serve. In that first set, he gave me no chance.
‘It took me forever to bloody close it out. I would have been fine for a fifth set… I’m feeling pretty good.’
Purcell, who is somewhat of a coffee connoisseur and is known to rate his cafe experiences on social media, admitted he hasn’t been blown away by the city’s famous brews.
The Aussie tennis star will next face Casper Ruud in the second round of the Open
‘I’m trying to save the best for later in the tournament,’ he said.
‘But they’ve been solid, I’ve finished them all, so that’s all that matters.’
When asked to describe his game against Valkusz as though it were a coffee, Purcell didn’t hesitate.
‘Probably middle of the road, exactly like Melbourne’s been so far,’ he said.
‘It’s fine, it got the job done, but it wasn’t pretty.’