Canberra ACT, Australia, 30 October 2016 | David Packman

Marc Polmans has found himself among the seeded players after the main draw for this week’s Apis Canberra International was announced on Sunday night.

“It’s good,” said the Melbourne teenager. “I want to try and play as many (ATP) Challengers as I can. They are always strong tournaments at this level and you’ve got to be ready to go from the first game.”

Polmans, currently ranked world No.262, was elevated to the position of ninth seed after the late withdrawl of Korean Hyeon Chung and, as a result, sits in the bottom half of the draw facing Sriram Balaji – one of four Indians playing this week – before potentially reigniting his Australian Pro Tour rivalry with American Jarmere Jenkins.

“I’ve played him a lot recently, so we know how each other plays,” Polmans said of the possible second-round encounter. “It should be pretty interesting, hopefully I can get there.”

Polmans, who played doubles at the event last year, will be making his maiden singles appearance, and expressed his approval of the conditions in Canberra.

“There’s a little bit of altitude which is good, it should help on my serve,” he said.

Jordan Thompson will lead the strong field of Australian men in Canberra. The top seed, buoyed by recent title wins on the ATP Challenger tour in Ho Chi Minh and Traralgon, will be looking to make it three in a row as his campaign opens against countryman Matt Reid later in the week.

Thompson’s half of the draw is crowded with some of the tournament’s better-known names; a potential quarterfinal against No.8 seed John-Patrick Smith is in the offing with either Traralgon semifinalist, Argentine Marco Trungelliti (No.4), or James Duckworth (No.5) potentially beyond that.

Smith himself has a tricky encounter with Launceston champion Blake Mott to negotiate first up while Matthew Ebden and Luke Saville – also a member of the final four in Traralgon last week – lurk dangerously near Thompson at the top of the draw.

Second seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan – in Polmans’ half – will be looking to improve upon his performance last week where he fell early to Saville.

The world No.99 finds himself facing qualifier Greg Jones in the first round and is on a quarterfinal collision course with sixth-seeded Slovenian Grega Zemlja, the Traralgon finalist.

Seventh seed Matthew Barton will also be hoping for a deep run in Canberra and may well oppose Polmans in a quarterfinal.

Also of interest is a first round encounter between youngster Omar Jasika and Chris O’Connell – a recent Pro Tour title winner in Cairns.

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