Roland Garros, day three: A chance to shine for Polmans, Popyrin
Six Australians feature on the Roland Garros day three schedule, including Marc Polmans and Alexei Popyrin in men's singles action.
Marc Polmans and Alexei Popyrin are the last Australians remaining in the Roland Garros men’s singles draw.
Seven Aussie men featured in the main draw – the most since 2000 – however, five have lost their opening round matches.
The 21-year-old Popyrin skipped the US Open to focus on his clay-court preparations and is determined to make the most of his opportunities in Paris.
“Everybody’s got their time to shine and as long as I keep putting the hard work in I’m sure my time will come,” Popyrin told AAP.
“That’s what I’ve been telling myself since I was a kid. The belief won’t go away.”
The 23-year-old Polmans is making his Roland Garros main draw debut and targeting a career-first top 50-win when he faces Frenchman Ugo Humbert.
Victory for the Aussie hopes would see them join Australian women Daria Gavrilova and Astra Sharma in the second round.
Men’s doubles action also begins on day three, with four Australians scheduled to play opening round matches. This includes 26-year-old Luke Saville and 22-year-old Max Purcell, with the Australian Open 2020 finalists making their Roland Garros debut.
Play is scheduled to start at 7pm AEST this evening.
Aussies in action, day three:
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Lloyd Harris (RSA)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 10, first match (7pm AEST start)
The No.108-ranked Popyrin faces No.90-ranked South African Harris in the opening round. The 21-year-old Australian has a good record in Paris, winning the Roland Garros boys’ singles title in 2017 and making the second round in his main draw debut last year. The 23-year-old Harris, who’s best French Open result is a second round run last year, scored a straight-sets win against Popyrin in their only previous meeting.
[LL] Marc Polmans (AUS) v Ugo Humbert (FRA)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 14, first match (7pm AEST start)
Polmans is making his Roland Garros main draw debut, receiving a lucky loser place after scoring two solid qualifying wins last week. The 23-year-old from Melbourne, who is ranked No.122, has drawn in-form Humbert. The left-handed Frenchman defeated world No.5 Daniil Medvedev last week and is currently at a career-high ranking of No.38. Humbert won his only previous meeting against Polmans in US Open qualifying in 2018.
Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v  Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA)/Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 10, second match
After narrowly missing a seeding, Australian Open 2020 finalists Purcell and Saville have been handed a tough draw in their Roland Garros debut. Their sixth-seeded opponents won the 2018 title and are one of only four men’s doubles teams in the Open era to win all four Grand Slams. Yet the No.38-ranked Saville and No.40-ranked Purcell proved they can challenge the world’s top teams on clay with a Rome quarterfinal run earlier this month.
James Duckworth (AUS)/John Millman (AUS) v  Jeremy Chardy (FRA)/Fabrice Martin (FRA)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 5, fourth match
The all-Aussie duo of Duckworth and Millman, who are close friends and training partners in Brisbane, are playing their second Grand Slam tournament together and first since Australian Open 2016. They face clay-loving Frenchmen Chardy and Martin, who were Rome finalists earlier this month and made the Roland Garros doubles final last year. The 31-year-old Millman is aiming to snap a seven-match losing streak in Grand Slam doubles.