|Today, 10:43 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2005
I got to hit with Mel Purcell. He even gave me some help with some of my questions yesterday. I hit with him for about an hour. He is the head coach of murray state. He has some local players here that play college for him. He was here this weekend for an exhibition. I was very impressed. Just to screw around, when someone would hit him a high volley, he would jump up and hit it with his head to hit it over the net.
I really didn't know much about the guy until I did a search.
Mel Purcell (born July 18, 1959, in Joplin, Missouri, U.S.) is a former American tennis player. His career-high singles ranking was World No. 21, achieved in November 1980. Purcell's finest moment was when he reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 1983. He is the head coach of the Murray State University men's tennis team.
Purcell grew up in Murray, Kentucky, and played in the Kentucky State Tennis Tournament as a fifth-grader, and won two state doubles crowns with older brother Del as a middle schooler. He made the state singles finals three straight years, winning as a senior.
Purcell graduated Murray High School and went on to Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), where he played for one year. He transferred to the University of Tennessee, where in 1980 he won an NCAA doubles championship with teammate Rodney Harmon.
Purcell made his first splash on the professional circuit in the summer of 1980. As a wild card entrant at the Washington (D.C.) Star Tournament, he upset top-ranked Eddie Dibbs. Two weeks later, he qualified for a spot in the U.S. Clay Courts. There, he beat Hank Pfister and top-10 ranked Harold Solomon before falling in the finals to JosÚ Luis Clerc. Purcell saw his Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranking soar from the 300s to the top 40 and was crowned 1980 ATP Rookie of the Year.
The next year he played at Wimbledon, the first of six appearances (1981–85, 1987) on the famed grass courts. He reached the quarterfinals in 1983, beating Tim Wilkison, Stuart Bale, Andreas Mauer and Brian Gottfried before falling to eventual runner-up New Zealand's Chris Lewis 6–7, 6–0, 6–4, 7–6 in the quarterfinals.
Purcell also was a fixture in other Grand Slam events during the 1980s, playing in the US Open 10 times (1978–87) where he recorded victories over Stan Smith, AndrÚs Gˇmez and Ilie Năstase, among others. He competed in the French Open six times (1981–84, 1987–8 where he twice reached the round of 16 in singles and in 1981 reached the doubles quarterfinals with Vincent Van Patten.
Another career highlight was beating Ivan Lendl and Fernando Luna at Boston in 1982 before falling in the final to Guillermo Vilas.
Injuries to his elbow from a car accident and a pulled stomach muscle slowed his career in 1985 but a year later, he beat Boris Becker in the German Open for another milestone singles victory.
Purcell won three ATP singles titles in 1981, at Atlanta, Tampa and Tel Aviv. He also teamed to claim four doubles titles, at Delray Beach (1982 with Chip Hooper), Munich (1982 with Eliot Teltscher) and Vienna (1983 with Stan Smith and 1987 with Tim Wilkison).
Ace Authentic produced a line of trading cards called "Heroes & Legends" that included Purcell at his best.
Purcell is the head tennis coach at Murray State University, a post he took in 1996 succeeding his father, hall of fame coach Bennie Purcell. He led Murray State to back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference titles in 2001 and 2002 and was named OVC Coach of the Year both seasons.
Mel Purcell was still enjoying matches on the Jimmy Connors Champions Tour in his 40s, where he played against and sometimes beat Jimmy Connors, Bj÷rn Borg, and John McEnroe
Here is a good article on him.
Anyone remember him or ever watch him play?
|Today, 10:57 AM||#2|
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Aug 2009
Pictures or it didn't happen.
I hit with Nadal yesterday. He told me I should play on the tour as his doubles partner.
Babolat AeroProDrive GT. (x3) Babolat VS blk gut 16/Lux 4G 16 (55/52)
350 grams, 8 points HL, 336 SW