Marc Polmans won his first tour match on clay at the perfect time to become the only Aussie male to progress to the second round of the French Open.
The 23-year-old from Melbourne recorded the biggest win of his career, defeating No.38-ranked Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-2 6-2 3-6 6-3 in first-round action in Paris.
It was the first career victory against a top 50-ranked opponent for Polmans, who has earned something of a cult following because of the legionnaires hat he wears while playing.
It was just his second main draw Grand Slam victory.
Polmans scored his previous career-best win against No.68-ranked Mikhail Kukushkin to reach the Australian Open second round earlier this year.
“(I) didn’t expect to be playing again,” said Polmans, who lost in the final round of qualifying before getting a “lucky loser” exemption into the main draw.
“And now to be the last Aussie standing is pretty cool.”
The No.122-ranked Polmans became the last Aussie male in the draw when Alexei Popyrin lost to South African Lloyd Harris in straight sets.
Polmans’ match lasted three hours and two minutes on court, moments before rain temporarily forced the suspension of matches on all other outside courts.
He’ll next play Chile’s Cristian Garin, the No.20 seed, who won the Roland Garros boys’ singles title in 2013.
Aussies in action, day three results:
Men’s singles, first round
Marc Polmans (AUS) d Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-2 6-2 3-6 6-3
Lloyd Harris (RSA) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-4 6-4 7-6(7)