The 22-year-old Marc Polmans used his wild card with both hands, defeating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7, 6-4 in four hours and 17 minutes marathon. Competing in his second Grand Slam match in a career, Marc blasted 22 aces and fired 53 winners and 34 unforced errors, suffering six breaks and delivering eight successful return games to seal the deal and cross the finish line first against the more experienced rival.
Marc claimed the last four games of the opener and dominated in set number two to open a massive lead, serving for the win at 5-4 in the fourth set. Mikhail broke back to extend his chances, fending off match points in the tie break to take it 10-8 and produce a decider.
Trailing 3-2 in the final set, Polmans grabbed four of the last five games to secure the triumph, his first at Grand Slam level. Speaking after the victory, Polmans highlighted it as one of the best of his career, also having a chance to talk about his famous legionnaire hat that a former Australian Open champion Ivan Lendl wore at these courts 30 years ago.
Marc assumed Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would never wear the legionnaire hat like him; still, he feels ready to stick to it all the time, chasing the place in the top-100 in 2020 and more big wins like this one. "It is pretty cool; I've been wearing it since I was eight years old," Polmans said.
"It is pretty cool how the public is starting to get around it and I'm always going to continue to wear it. I don't think those Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer are going to be able to do it - they have got pretty big images and I don't see them wearing the legionnaire hat anytime soon.
The guys on the ATP side haven't seen me as much, so they do kind of look at me strange, but all the Aussie guys know what's up. I heard Ivan Lendl wore it in the past; if I can have a career like him, I'll be pretty pumped.
I would say this has to be my most significant victory so far. In terms of ranking, maybe not, I've beaten a higher-ranked player before. But on this stage, in front of the home crowd, I think it is the biggest one. I'm slowly making that gradual step towards the top-100.
Today's win will definitely help me and hopefully, I can keep going; I'm happy that I'm slowly making my way to the top-100."