Australian qualifier Marc Polmans has produced one of the finest wins of his emerging career, outplaying veteran Yen-Hsun Lu to claim his first main draw victory at Wimbledon, on debut.
Polmans overcame slippery conditions and fading light on the outside courts to progress to the second round at the All England Club, defeating the 37-year-old 6-2, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 amid another wet and cold day in south London.
With darkness descending on SW19 and the grass getting wetter by the game, the 24-year-old maintained his composure after Lu won the third set to quickly close out the match in the fourth set.
The landmark victory arrives after the Victorian won three rounds of qualifying at Roehampton, including an epic five-set match that lasted nearly four hours last Thursday to secure his debut at the most prestigious tennis tournament on the planet.
“I think I’ll be putting this as my top win. Qualifying and earning my way into the main draw, qualifying and winning in the main draw in my first ever match here tops it for me,” Polmans told The First Serve on Tuesday night.
“I’m pumped to get my first ever win at the main draw at Wimbledon. It was extremely tough conditions playing late at night and it was starting to get really dark and slippery and it was starting to become pretty difficult for both of us.
“When he took the third set I thought we were going to be in for another long one. I’m thankful I was able to close it out in the fourth.”
If Polmans didn’t win the fourth set, the match would have almost certainly been postponed until Wednesday due to the conditions.
Fellow compatriot and Wimbledon debutant Chris O’Connell suffered that fate, with his first round match against French star Gael Monfils moved to a third day, with the score 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 3-2 in the 13th seeds favour.
With players living in a bubble in the luxurious 1000-room Park Plaza Hotel in London, only leaving to come back and forth from the All England Club, Polmans won’t be venturing out for a celebratory late-night dinner at St John or The Clove Club on Tuesday night.
But the world No. 154 will take time to share the brilliant performance with his parents, who were watching back in Australia and might struggle to sleep after the breakthrough win.
“Normally if it wasn’t this late I would have come off court and spoken straight away to my parents, because usually they watch my match and straight away send me messages, so usually I love to spend a moment with them because they have pushed me from a young age to be the best I can," Polmans said.
“This is a big moment for me for and my parents. I’ll definitely give them a call and take care of my recovery when I get back to the hotel. My parents will definitely be up because there is no way they will be sleeping.”
Polmans will now play 17th seed Christian Garin or Spanish qualifier Barnabe Zapata Miralles in the second round later this week.
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