Monday, September 26, 2016

Teen stars to meet for main-draw berth in Tiburon

Michael Mmoh serves during his first-round
loss to French veteran Jeremy Chardy in the
recent U.S. Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Years from now, San Francisco Bay Area fans might boast that they saw the first match between Michael Mmoh and Denis Shapovalov.
   Two of the top teenagers in the world, they will meet today in the final round of qualifying for the $100,000 Wells Fargo Bank Tiburon Challenger. The 10 a.m. match at the Tiburon Peninsula Club could be streamed live.
   Mmoh, an 18-year-old American, eked out a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) victory over Erik Crepaldi of Italy on Sunday. The second-seeded Shapovalov, 17, of Canada beat Swedish wild card Andre Goransson, a senior at nearby Cal, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
   Mmoh, a 6-foot-1 (1.85-meter) right-hander with a two-handed backhand, won the USTA boys 18 national singles title last month. That gave him an automatic wild card in the U.S. Open, in which he lost to French veteran Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round.
   Shapovalov, a 6-foot (1.83-meter) left-hander with a one-handed backhand, took the Wimbledon boys singles crown in July. He stunned 19th-ranked Nick Kyrgios in the first round at Toronto later that month and reached the semifinals of the $75,000 Gatineau (Canada) Challenger in August.
   Shapovalov is ranked No. 248 (fifth in Canada), and Mmoh is No. 356 (31st in the United States).
   Meanwhile, Australian veteran Matt Reid knocked off top qualifying seed Alessandro Giannessi of Italy 7-6 (3), 7-5.
   In Giannessi's previous two tournaments, he reached the second round of the U.S. Open as a qualifier before losing to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in straight sets and won the $120,000 Szczecin (Poland) Challenger on clay.
   Reid took advantage of a favorable draw to gain the Tiburon semifinals in 2014 as a qualifier. He also has advanced to the last two doubles finals in the tournament with countryman Carsten Ball.
   Filip Bergevi, another Swedish wild card and Cal senior, and Stanford junior Tom Fawcett lost to seeds in qualifying.
   Main-draw play will begin today not before 11:30 a.m. Four seeds will be in action during the day: No. 2 Bjorn Fratangelo of Boca Raton, Fla., No. 4 Frances Tiafoe of Boca Raton, No. 6 Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and No. 8 Quentin Halys of France. All except Fratangelo, 23, are teenagers.
   Halys reached the semifinals last year, and Fratangelo has advanced to the quarterfinals the last two years.
   Here are the singles qualifying draw, today's schedule, singles main draw and doubles main draw.

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