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Aussies Akira Santillan and Max Purcell visit the Ben Thanh Market during the Ho Chi Minh City Challenger.

Santillan, Purcell Visit Ben Thanh Market In Ho Chi Minh City

Aussies explore Saigon's famous market

Akira Santillan and Max Purcell enjoyed a day off at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Ho Chi Minh City, visiting the famous Ben Thanh Market. The Aussies tested their talents in bargaining for a deal, as they shopped for clothes and sunglasses.

The Ben Thanh Market is one of the oldest surviving structures in the city, with merchants selling various crafts, textiles, souvenirs and food. Developed in the early 17th century, it is a popular tourist attraction in Vietnam's largest city.

"I loved it," said Purcell. "I haven't been to markets like that in nearly three years, the last time I was in Asia. I love experiencing the local culture and it's cool to haggle for cheap things."

"It was pretty cool," Santillan added. "Just bargaining with the locals was quite fun. The stuff is cheap, but it's good to help out the community. They need the money."

#NextGenATP Santillan is into the quarter-finals at the Hung Thinh Vietnam Open, where he will face Peter Polansky in Friday's night session. Purcell, meanwhile, is teaming up with Ti Chen in doubles. The duo are set to battle top seeds James Cerretani and Marc Polmans for a spot in the semis.

Santillan, at No. 162 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is just two spots off his career-high. The 20 year old won his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Winnetka, Illinois, in July and would proceed to claim his first ATP World Tour match wins in Newport and Los Cabos. At age 19, Purcell is projected to rise to a career-high No. 273 as he continues to plot his ascent up the Emirates ATP Rankings. He is one of two Aussie teens in the Top 500, along with Alex de Minaur.

ATP Challenger Tour