Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mmoh, 19, reaches 100K Tiburon quarters -- barely

   Michael Mmoh came within a fraction of an inch of losing today in the $100,000 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger.
   Mmoh, the fourth seed and last year's runner-up as an 18-year-old qualifier, saved two match points and edged 2010 champion Tobias Kamke 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7) in the second round at the Tiburon Peninsula Club.
   Kamke's first match point came while he served at 6-5 in the tiebreaker. On the 31-year-old German's  second serve, a Mmoh forehand struck the net cord and went over. Kamke managed to return the ball, but Mmoh countered with a backhand lob, and Kamke netted a backhand overhead.
   On the next point, with Kamke still serving, Mmoh netted a backhand to hand Kamke his second match point. But Mmoh, from Bradenton, Fla., responded with a service winner and an ace to earn his first match point. Kamke, ranked No. 210 after climbing as high as No. 64 in 2011, then hit an inside-out forehand wide to end it.
   Last year, Mmoh survived three match points against Tennys Sandgren in the first round and one against third seed and defending champion Tim Smyczek in the semifinals. Mmoh, the son of former journeyman pro Tony Mmoh from Nigeria, then lost to Darian King of Barbados.
   Mmoh, ranked No. 141, will face eighth-seeded Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in Friday's quarterfinals. The left-handed Norrie, who reached the final of last year's $100,000 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger, beat American Mitchell Krueger, a Tiburon quarterfinalist in the past two years, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
   In the other quarterfinal in the top half of the draw, Frank Dancevic of Canada will meet Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India.
   Like Kamke, Dancevic is a former top-70 player in his 30s. The 33-year-old veteran, who reached No. 65 in 2007, dispatched wild card Tom Fawcett of Winnetka, Ill., 6-3, 6-4. The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Fawcett, a Stanford senior, ousted top-seeded Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium in the first round on Tuesday for his first Challenger main-draw victory.
   Gunneswaran, a 27-year-old left-hander, defeated U.S. qualifier Deiton Baughman 7-6 (5), 6-4.
   The quarterfinal matchups in the bottom half of the draw will be determined on Thursday.
   Here are the Tiburon Challenger singles and doubles draws and Thursday's schedule. The tournament is being streamed live.

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