Australia’s Marc Polmans has claimed the Zhangjiagang $54k ATP Challenger title after defeating Italy’s world no. 189 and the no. 6 seed Lorenzo Giustino. Polmans took the match 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).
The win will see the Australian’s ranking jump to around no. 161 when the rankings are next updated, that is up 39 places from no. 200.
Polmans got off to the perfect start breaking Giustino in the opening game when the Italian hit into the net. The Australian consolidated the break to lead 2-0.
The Italian earned himself two break-back-points in the eighth game after hitting a down-the-line forehand winner. The first was saved when Giustino chased down a drop shot but then pushed his shot long, he did, however, convert on the next point when Polmans hit long.
With the score locked up at 4-4 it was Polmans that again broke when his opponent hit long. Polmans was then serving for the set.
The Australian was taken to deuce before closing out the set when Giustino mistimed a ball that sailed wide.
Giustino held several break points in the second game but Polmans held serve. The Italian did break in the next service game from Polmans to lead 3-1. The break came after Polmans hit into the net after his opponent had mishit a shot.
Polmans immediately was in a position to break back and did so after a long rally that he finally worked his opponent out of position before hitting a winner into the open court.
Players were finding it hard to hold serve, this time Polmans was broken. Again Polmans found himself with break points. This time he converted with a well-disguised backhand drop shot.
The Australian was able to hold server for 4-4. Giustino held serve and then broke to take the second set.
It was Polmans that took the opening game of the third set when he broke serve. He then held to take a 2-0 lead. There was an opportunity to go to a 3-0 lead with Giustino serving at 30-40 but he forced an error with a well-hit forehand. The Italian would hold serve and then break to get back into the match.
The eighth game of the set was a real battle for Polmans as he fought off several break points, the game lasting around 11 minutes before a badly missed forehand from the Italian saw Polmans escape.
Games then went with serve until a tie-breaker was needed to decide who would be the champion inZhangjiagang.
Giustino was first to earn a mini-break going to 2-0. Polmans won the next rally to get his first point.
The Italian put in a good first serve and backed that up with a mid-court forehand winner for 3-1. Some more big forehands saw him take the next point to lead 4-1.
Polmans was not going down without a fight, he was serving a second serve at 1-4 and got an easy point when his opponent sent the return well over the baseline.
Some good deep hitting from Polmans saw him earn good court position and he moved towards the net before hitting a winner.
On the next point with the Italian hitting near the service line, his angled shot clipped the net and sailed wide. That was a key point. Polmans was now back at 4-4.
Another unforced error from the Italian and Polmans was now in control, serving at 5-4. The Australian brought up championship point in style when he jumped on a short ball and blasted a down-the-line backhand winner.
On match point Polmans got a first serve out wide, the return sailed back and Polmans hit deep to the other corner and then followed that shot into the net. A drop volley sealed the win and he fell to the court to celebrate. A great comeback from 1-4 down in the tie breaker.