Melbourne VIC, Australia, 20 January 2014 | Rob Sheeley

Marc Polmans is a fighter.

The 16-year old Australian has already had to dig deep both mentally and physically in his first and second-round matches of the boy’s singles at the 2014 Australian Open. But he has prevailed in style.

Today, Polmans eliminated the tournaments fifth seed Michael Mmoh in straight-sets, 6-3 7-5 to advance to the third round of the event.

He is quick to point to the inspiration that he gains from the recent successes of his fellow countrymen Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis as a motivating factor to work hard.

“They give us so much support and inspiration with Nick and Thanasi doing so well.” He said after his match.

“They’re such good people, they work hard and they definitely deserve to be where they are at.

“Thanasi is only a year older than me, geez hopefully next year I’ll be able to do what he’s doing.

“It certainly gives me good inspiration to train as hard as I can, maybe one day I’ll be good enough to play on Rod Laver.”

Today’s victory appeared initially as though it was going to be one-way traffic with Polmans putting on a flawless display in the first set, taking it in just 34 minutes.

“I got off to a great start, I broke him to love first game, then he started to get down on himself, I lifted my energy and I took that first set in around half an hour. I just got on top of him early.”

But after racing away to a 3-0 lead in the second set, things began to get interesting, with the American Mmoh finding some touch and abbreviating the margin. It took an hour and seven minutes for Polmans to finally seal the deal with a 7-5 win.

“I was getting a bit nervous, I had a break all set until 4-2, I got broken at 4-2 and I started to get a bit nervous, he started to play a bit better, he was a bit more looser, he was going for his shots more.

“I was serving for the match at 5-4, got broken, then had match-points at 6-5, deuce, ad, deuce, ad, then I was finally able to close it out.”

It was Polmans second victory over Mmoh from two attempts, something he thinks helped his confidence heading into the clash.

“Beating him before did give me a lot of confidence; I felt like I could beat him, I had the game to beat him.”

There was plenty of support courtside for Polmans today, which he also points to as a factor in allowing him to find that little bit extra when he needs it most.

“I’ve got my family and friends here from my old school and my family from South Africa too all supporting me.

“To play in front of them is a really good feeling and it has really got me over the line in the last two matches.”

Polmans showed in his first-round match on Saturday that he has what it takes to overcome adversity. He took on Pedro Martinez Portero who pushed him every inch of the way in an epic encounter that lasted two hours and 34 minutes with Polmans eventually taking the match 2-6 7-6 (4) 7-5.

“Yeah, geez I didn’t expect having a first-round match like that, I didn’t get off to the greatest start, which improved on today, I got broken very early.”

“But he was a quality player and he pushed me, I was just happy to dig deep and find a way out of that.”

At the AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International last week, Polmans made the final 16 and says that week was the perfect lead-up to the Australian Open.

“I had good match-play last week, I also beat a top-ten player, so I’m coming into this tournament really fresh and ready to do well so hopefully I can go a few better this week.”

Polmans will play in the second round of the doubles event tomorrow with compatriot Daniel Guccione before continuing his singles campaign on Wednesday where he faces Polish ninth seed, Kamil Majchrzak.