Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Top-seeded Johnson downs prospect Mmoh in Fairfield

Steve Johnson serves during the Aptos (Calif.) final, in which
he beat Dominik Koepfer, in August. Photo by Paul Bauman
   In tonight's featured match, top-seeded Steve Johnson beat fellow American Michael Mmoh 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the second round of the $108,320 NorthBay Healthcare Men's Pro Championship at Solano Community College in Fairfield, Calif.
   Johnson pounded 10 aces and won 82 percent of the points on his first serve (31 of 38) in his first match against Mmoh, who was named after Michael Jordan. Johnson committed six double faults.
   Johnson, 29, and Mmoh, 21, have won three Northern California Challenger singles titles combined. Johnson captured his second Aptos crown in August, and Mmoh took last year's Tiburon title.
   Both players, however, have dropped in the rankings. Johnson, mourning the death of his father/mentor at 58 in 2017, has fallen from a career-high No. 21 in 2016 to No. 99. Mmoh, who sat out for four months early this year because of injuries, has plunged from a career-high No. 96 last October to No. 290.
   Johnson is scheduled to play unseeded Evan King, a 27-year-old left-hander from Chicago, on Thursday. King edged 13th-seeded Mitchell Krueger of Dallas 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (4) in 2 hours, 54 minutes after outlasting alternate Strong Kirchheimer of Cary, N.C., 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 in 2:18 on Monday.
   On Wednesday not before 7 p.m., 14th-seeded Jack Sock will meet Jack Draper of Great Britain in the second round. Sock, a former top-10 singles player and a three-time Grand Slam men's doubles champion, will make his first Challenger appearance in more than five years. All 16 singles seeds received first-round byes.
   Also advancing today were fourth-seeded Taro Daniel of Japan and unseeded Sebastian Korda of Bradenton, Fla.
   Daniel, 26, beat wild card Brandon Holt, the 21-year-old son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round.
   Korda, the 19-year-old son of former world No. 2 Petr Korda, topped Sebastian Fanselow, a 27-year-old former Pepperdine All-American from Germany, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round.
   Daniel reached the quarterfinals last week in Tokyo on the ATP Tour to rise 16 places to No. 111. He was born in New York to an American father, Paul, and Japanese mother, Yasue. The family moved to Japan when Taro was an infant and to Spain when he was 14.
   Paul Daniel grew up in Santa Cruz, Calif., a two-hour drive south of Fairfield, on the Pacific Ocean, and Taro spent summers there until he was 15 or 16.
   Here are the updated Fairfield singles and doubles draws and Wednesday's schedule.

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