Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mmoh, 18, leads parade of upsets in 100K Tiburon

Qualifier Michael Mmoh, shown Wednesday, stunned
second-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo 6-0, 7-5 to reach his
first Challenger semifinal. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Four of the top five seeds played Friday in the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Wells Fargo Bank Tiburon Challenger.
   Only No. 3 Tim Smyczek, the defending champion, survived.
   Michael Mmoh, an 18-year-old qualifier from Bradenton, Fla., stunned No. 2 Bjorn Fratangelo of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-0, 7-5 at the Tiburon Peninsula Club in the San Francisco Bay Area to reach his first Challenger semifinal.
   Mackenzie McDonald, a 21-year-old wild card who grew up in nearby Piedmont, outlasted No. 4 Frances Tiafoe, 18, of Boca Raton 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 to gain the Tiburon semifinals for the second consecutive year.
   And Darian King of Barbados ousted No. 5 Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the Bay Area 7-5, 6-2.
   Smyczek (pronounced Smee-check) of Tampa, Fla., beat Mitchell Krueger of Boca Raton 6-2, 6-4.
   Mmoh, the son of former journeyman professional Tony Mmoh from Nigeria, survived three match points in his first-round victory over American Tennys Sandgren. Mmoh led 4-6, 7-6 (5), 2-0 when Sandgren retired with a lower back injury.
   Sandgren, 25, served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but double-faulted three times in the long game, including once on match point.
   In today's semifinals, King will face McDonald at about 1 p.m. (live stream), followed by Smyczek against Mmoh. King and Smyczek are each 1-0 against their opponents.
   King defeated McDonald 6-4, 7-5 in 2014 on an outdoor hardcourt in a $15,000 Futures tournament in Mexico. Smyczek topped Mmoh 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-5 in the first round of qualifying at Indian Wells in March.
   Here are the Tiburon singles and doubles draws and today's schedule. Also, here are the Stockton singles qualifying draw and today's schedule. The $100,000 tournament is being held at the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center at the University of the Pacific.

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