Marc Polmans brokes through on ATP challenger tour with first title win at Launceston International

FULLY STRETCHED: Launceston International men's winner Marc Polmans grasps to save a point during Sunday's men's final against Brad Mousley. Pictures: Paul Scambler
FULLY STRETCHED: Launceston International men's winner Marc Polmans grasps to save a point during Sunday's men's final against Brad Mousley. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Launceston International new champion Marc Polmans reserved his best match of the past week for the final.

That perhaps says a lot for the only male not to drop a set all tournament.

“Maybe I got a bit lucky today, but yeah, I probably saved my best tennis for the last day,” Polmans said.

“It’s been a great week, I love conditions here, it’s relatively warm, it’s pretty still, so I’ve just loved every minute of the week, especially playing in front of a nice crowd – it’s been really enjoyable.”

But the 22-year-old Melburnian was breathing a sigh of relief for his breakthrough challenger title win that dates back to four years to the day since his professional debut.

Polmans was on another level, putting a gallant Brad Mousley to the sword in an empathic 6-2, 6-2 victory.

“It’s a massive relief to be honest,” Polmans said.

“I played one challenger final last year and I wasn’t able to get the win there.

“So to finally get a win at a challenger, I can just say I am just super stoked.”

From the outset, Polmans showed unbelievable touch.

He outpointed Mousley through a succession of drop shots, groundstrokes and slices to break serve twice on his way to a 4-0 lead. 

Mousley struggled to get off the baseline in the first set. That was a part of Polmans’ gameplan, he explained.

ON THE RETURN: Brad Mousley reverts to his backhand in a tough outing against fellow Australian Marc Polmans.

ON THE RETURN: Brad Mousley reverts to his backhand in a tough outing against fellow Australian Marc Polmans.

“The first set is always massive in a final to get that confidence,” Polman said.

“The other person is then under a lot of pressure to try and get into the match.

“I was trying to get my all shots in from the start and I was able to break in the first game, which was massive.

“I have played a lot of tennis this week, so I knew that the start was critical.”

The second set went much the same way as the first.

Polmans broke Mousley’s serve two more times – for the only four breaks in the match – and was never behind on the scoreboard.

DOING IN STYLE: Polmans looks to swat from the baseline.

DOING IN STYLE: Polmans looks to swat from the baseline.

The South African-born talent felt that winning in Launceston can now move his career forward.

This comes more than a decade since his mum and dad uprooted the family from South Africa to back in their son’s early promise on the court to Australia.

Polmans is encouraged by the steps former Launceston International stars Chung Hyeon, from Korea, and Kyle Edmund, from Britain, have made since advancing to the Australian Open semi-finals and quarter-finals this year.

“It’s a great stepping stone for the next few tournaments I have too,” Polmans said.

“It feels great to win my first challenger; I won a couple of futures [tournaments], but this is a step up a level.”

Mousley’s sheer angst was never better summed up than a disputed line call.

AWARDED: Polmans and Mousey with the authentic Launceston trophies.

AWARDED: Polmans and Mousey with the authentic Launceston trophies.

He appeared to hit a clear winner, but was overruled.

“That is not out – nothing has gone my way,” Mousley told the chair umpire, “I can hardly win a point as it is.”

Mousley, who had beaten the number five, three and one seeds on his way to the final, could see the funny side after the match on Sunday.

“He gave me a bit of a beating out there, which I didn’t appreciate,” Mousley said. 

“But he was great all week, great today, and he was way too good for me.”

But 22-year-old from Modbury had something to smile about when he teamed up with Alex Bolt to win the doubles final 7-6, 6-0 over Americans Sekou Bangoura and Nathan Pasha.