Polmans v Fritz to take centre stage in Happy Valley
A battle between the Australian and American young guns will headline the opening round of the City of Onkaparinga ATP Challenger.
Recent 18/u Australian Champion Marc Polmans will headline the opening round of the City of Onkaparinga ATP Challenger 2016 when he takes on current junior world No.1 Taylor Fritz.
“It will be a really good experience,” Polmans said of his wildcard opportunity to play in the main draw in Happy Valley.
“Most of these guys will be in the quallies at the Aussie Open so I’m looking forward to getting the feel of how they play, at their level.”
Polmans has already received a wildcard entry into the Australian Open 2016 qualifying event.
The Victorian also harbours no fear of the big-hitting American he faces in the first round, having beaten Fritz in their only previous meeting – a straight-sets affair at the Nike Junior International Roehampton last year.
However, Polmans is under no illusions about this upcoming encounter. Fritz finished 2015 on fire, winning the US Open junior title and becoming just the second 17-year-old to win back-to-back ATP Challenger events in consecutive weeks, vaulting some 462 world ranking places in the process.
“I think it will be a good challenge,” Polmans said. “He’s got a pretty big game. I’ll do my best to keep him moving, keep him off-balance.
“I’ll just go out there and compete and we’ll see what happens.”
As for the remaining Australian wildcards – including locals Bradley Mousley and Alex Bolt – they have mixed first round assignments, with Bolt taking on third-seeded Columbian Alejandro Gonzalez and Mousley meeting unseeded Serb Laslo Djere.
Sydney’s Matthew Barton will need to overcome German Nils Langer to set up a potential second-round match against Bolt, should the South Australian fashion an upset win over Gonzalez.
Of the higher seeds, American Bjorn Frantangelo (No.2) – who finds himself in the same section as Bolt and Mousley – meets a qualifier while the top seed, Israel’s Dudi Sela, starts his campaign against Uladzimir Ignatik before a potential quarterfinal against another American young gun, Frances Tiafoe.
Sela, 30, is the current world No.100 and has previously been ranked as high as No.29. He owns an impressive 19 ATP Challenger singles titles and will be looking to acquit himself well in his first outing for 2016.
The City of Onkaparinga ATP Challenger 2016 is taking place at Happy Valley Tennis Club, Aberfoyle Park, South Australia from 2–10 January 2016.
Follow the main draw action via our live streaming on Tennis Australia’s YouTube channel.