Jasika, Polmans break through in Canberra
Omar Jasika and Marc Polmans will face off in the Apis Canberra International semifinals after each achieved their best ever result at ATP Challenger level.
Melbourne teenagers Omar Jasika and Marc Polmans have landed in a maiden ATP Challenger semifinal at the Apis Canberra International after winning their respective matches on Friday.
The two 19-year-olds wasted little time in the windy conditions, each putting their opponents to the sword in straight sets. Jasika looked most impressive in his 6-3 6-1 defeat of the more experienced Greg Jones while Polmans was required to work slightly harder in dispatching wildcard Daniel Nolans 6-2 7-5.
“It’s definitely my best result at this level, so I’m happy with that and seeing how far I can go now,” Jasika, who has previously reached three ATP Challenger quarterfinals, said. “Me and Marc have played quite a few times, we are pretty close friends and we grew up together. We know each other’s games and what to expect.
“We’ll go out there and give it our best and see what happens. One of us is going to make the final, so it’s good for both of us, I guess.”
After making his Australian Open debut where he eventually lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a high-profile second round match, Jasika admits this year has been a long one.
“It’s been up and down,” he said. “I started the year well, had a bit of a speed bump along the way, but I’m happy to be playing some good tennis again.”
Polmans was disappointed last week after his first round loss in Traralgon, but the back end of his season has seen him in career-best form, resulting in three ITF Pro Circuits titles – including a win in Alice Springs in September – and a debut in the world’s top 300. However, this week marks his first appearance beyond the second round at an ATP Challenger event.
The other semifinal in Canberra pits top seed Jordan Thompson – a 6-1 7-6(5) winner over John-Patrick Smith on Friday – against James Duckworth.
Duckworth, the tournament’s fifth seed, saw off the only remaining international in the field, Germany’s Daniel Masur.
“Daniel came through qualifying and has won a lot of matches this week, so I’m happy to get through,” Duckworth said.
Thompson has been in sublime form of recent times, sitting at a career-high world No.85 after winning consecutive ATP Challenger titles in Ho Chi Minh and Traralgon and now edging towards three-in-a-row with his semifinal berth in Canberra.
“He moves great, doesn’t make too many unforced errors and doesn’t give you any cheap points,” Duckworth said of his upcoming opponent. “I’m going to have to go out there and beat him, he’s not going to beat himself. I need to be aggressive and take my chances.”