Fixture: Hugo Gaston vs Max Purcell
Date: 11 January 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021 qualifiers
Round: First round
Venue: Doha, Qatar
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Hugo Gaston vs Max Purcell preview
The first round of Austtalian Open qualifiers will witness the 22-year-old Max Purcell take on another talented youngster in the form of 20-year-old Hugo Gaston.
Both men made their Grand Slam main draw debut in Melbourne last year, but couldn't advance past their respective first rounds. They will be looking to get another shot at the main draw when they step out on the court on Monday.
Gaston was the breakout star at last year's Roland Garros, and he ended the year at a career high ranking of No. 153. A solid showing in his first tournament of 2021 would be a big boost to the Frenchman heading into the new season.
Gaston plays a uniquely crafty brand of tennis, one that was on full display during his matches against Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem in Paris last year. His efficient lefty serve, agile foot speed and mastery over drop shots could give his opponents a lot to think about here in Doha as well.
But the 20-year-old will need to be wary of the dynamic Purcell, who finished as the runner-up at the Australian Open men's doubles event last year.
Hugo Gaston vs Max Purcell head-to-head
This will be the first career meeting between Hugo Gaston and Max Purcell, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Hugo Gaston vs Max Purcell prediction
This match-up has all the makings of a close affair. Hugo Gaston's recent successes might hold him in good stead, but his opponent is just as capable of playing big matches well.
Max Purcell enjoy playing on hardcourts, having won multiple titles on the surface at the Challenger and Futures levels. Against Gaston though, he will need to maintain a certain level of aggression throughout and put his efficient frontcourt skills to good use.
Even the slightest of let-ups against a wily customer like Gaston could end up costing Purcell the match.
Prediction: Hugo Gatson to win in three sets.Published 10 Jan 2021, 14:22 IST