Friday, October 7, 2016

King, Mmoh to meet in rematch of Tiburon final

   STOCKTON, Calif. -- Three singles seeds will play today in the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Stockton Challenger, but perhaps the most intriguing matchup is between two unseeded players.
   In a rematch of Sunday's final in the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger, veteran Darian King of Barbados will face 18-year-old Michael Mmoh of Bradenton, Fla., at about noon at the new Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center at the University of the Pacific.
   King, 24, defeated Mmoh 7-6 (2), 6-2 for the Tiburon title in their first meeting. Mmoh, a qualifier playing his eighth match of the tournament, overpowered the steady King to lead 4-2 in the first set but tired after forcing the tiebreaker.    
   Mmoh, who won the USTA boys 18 national title in August to earn an automatic berth in the U.S. Open, skyrocketed 92 places to No. 264 in the world by reaching the Tiburon final. It also prevented him from playing in Stockton qualifying, so he got straight into the main draw.
   "It's going to be a battle," King, ranked No. 135, said after defeating 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. "It's going to be a long one. It's going to be tough.
   "We played in the final last week, and it was a long first set. Mmoh went through qualies and got to the final, so obviously fatigue played a big part in it."
   Mmoh, who dismissed qualifier Salvatore Caruso of Italy 6-3, 6-2, looks forward to the rematch.
   "I'm excited," said Mmoh, who has not lost more than three games in a set in his two Stockton matches. "It's a good opportunity to get some revenge. It's a new week. My body is feeling a little bit better, so I think it's going to be a tougher battle throughout."
   Both Mmoh and King are 6-foot-1 (1.85 meters), but Mmoh is 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms) heavier at 187 (85 kilograms).
   Mmoh is one of four top U.S. prospects in the quarterfinals.
   At 10 a.m., No. 3 seed Frances Tiafoe, also 18, of Boca Raton, Fla., will meet sixth-seeded Alessandro Giannessi of Italy for the first time. Also at 10, Mackenzie McDonald, a 20-year-old native of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, will take on No. 5 Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va., and Tampa, Fla. Kudla, the only U.S. man to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, is 1-0 against McDonald.
   Tiafoe, the youngest man in the main draw of this year's U.S. Open (he was born 10 days after Mmoh), led No. 20 seed John Isner, 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters), two sets to none before falling in a fifth-set tiebreaker to the No. 1 American at the time in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
   At about noon today, 20-year-old Noah Rubin of Long Island, N.Y., will play 32-year-old Frank Dancevic of Canada. Dancevic, who climbed to a career-high No. 65 in 2007, leads the head-to-head series 5-0.
   Rubin, the 2014 Wimbledon boys champion, defeated Belgium's Joris De Loore 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. De Loore ousted No. 1 seed Bjorn Fratangelo of Boca Raton in the first round.
   Rubin, a product of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York, turned pro last year after reaching the NCAA singles final as a freshman at Wake Forest. McDonald made the leap in June after sweeping the NCAA singles and doubles titles as a UCLA junior. Both play much bigger than their 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) frames would suggest.
   In a doubles matchup of wild-card teams, local favorites Jose Chamba Gomez and Sem Verbeek continued their surprising run with a 6-4, 5-7 [10-6] victory over Fratangelo and Tommy Paul of Boca Raton.
   Chamba Gomez, from Ecuador, and Verbeek, from the Netherlands, were Pacific teammates last year. Chamba Gomez is a junior, but Verbeek completed his eligibility last year.
   Fratangelo (2011) and Paul (2015) are two of the three Americans to win the French Open boys singles title in the Open era, which began in 1968. McEnroe (1977) is the other.
   Here are:
   --The Stockton singles and doubles draws and today's schedule.
   --The Redding women's singles and doubles draws and today's schedule. The $25,000 tournament is being held at Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness.

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