Saturday, September 24, 2016

U.S. prospect Mmoh to make NorCal pro debut

Michael Mmoh, 18, unleashes a forehand in
a first-round loss to French veteran Jeremy
Chardy in the recent U.S. Open. Photo by
Paul Bauman
   Michael Mmoh, one of the United States' top prospects, is scheduled to make his Northern California pro debut today.
   Mmoh, who won the USTA boys 18 national title last month, will play Luke Bambridge of Great Britain at 10 a.m. in the first round of qualifying for the $100,000 Wells Fargo Bank Tiburon Challenger at the Tiburon Peninsula Club.
   "Michael is one of the most athletic people you will ever see on a tennis court," fellow U.S. prospect Reilly Opelka, a close friend of Mmoh's, told The New York Times last September. "There is nothing he can't do out there."
   By winning the USTA boys 18s in Kalamazoo, Mich., Mmoh earned an automatic berth in the main draw of the U.S. Open. He lost to 55th-ranked Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
   Mmoh, the 18-year-old son of former ATP journeyman Tony Mmoh from Nigeria, also won a $25,000 Futures tournament in Bakersfield, Calif., in March.
   The top two qualifying seeds in Tiburon, 145th-ranked Alessandro Giannessi of Italy and 247th-ranked Denis Shapovalov of Canada, received first-round byes. 
   In Giannessi's last 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.
   Shapovalov, 17, also had an outstanding summer. He won the Wimbledon boys singles title, stunned 19th-ranked Nick Kyrgios in the first round at Toronto before losing to former world No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov and reached the semifinals of the $75,000 Gatineau (Canada) Challenger.
   The top entries in the main draw of the Tiburon Challenger, which begins Monday, are No. 97 Benjamin Becker of Germany, No. 110 Bjorn Fratangelo of Boca Raton, Fla., and No. 112 and defending champion Tim Smyczek of Tampa, Fla.
   Here are the qualifying draw and today's schedule.     

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