James Duckworth returns to Canberra for the 2018 Apis Canberra International. The last time he played the event he walked away as champion, defeating Marc Polmans 7-5, 6-3 in 2016 final.
Duckworth would then miss most of 2017 due to a foot injury. He made a return to the tour in 2018 using a protected ranking but now that has expired, he is ranked at no. 257 as he looks to return to the top-100, a ranking he last held in May 2017.
When Polmans and Duckworth met in 2016 final, Polmans was ranked at no. 262. He has had some ups and downs, but now sits at a career-high ranking of no. 137. Last year Polmans made it through to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Matt Ebden.
Last week in Traralgon Duckworth was a first-round loser, Polmans reached the semifinals losing to Jordan Thompson. This will be hard to pick the winner. Polmans has more form on the board over recent weeks, that could give him the edge.
Jason Kubler was to be the top-seed at the Apis Canberra International ATP Challenger event. He was forced to withdraw due to patella tendonitis. Taipei’s Wu Tung-Lin replaces Kubler as a lucky loser. He will take on Australia’s Maverick Banes.
Play got underway on Monday in Canberra. Thomas Fancutt took the first set against France’s Sadio Doumbia before fading away to lose 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Australia’s Jacob Grills made the most of his wildcard to defeat Japan’s no. 6 seed Hiroki Moriya.
Benjamin Hassan from Germany was too good for Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Lock, taking the match 6-1, 7-5 and Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki defeated France’s Fabien Reboul 7-6(5), 6-1.
There are some big round one matches to be played on Tuesday. Jordan Thompson takes on Jeremy Beale. Thompson comes to Canberra after winning the Traralgon title last weekend and Beale has shown good form on the ITF tour. Another interesting matchup is the clash between Alex Bolt and Max Purcell.