Mmoh Continues Top Form In Maui
American teenager seeks first Challenger title of the year
After an outstanding finish to his 2016 season on the ATP Challenger Tour, American #NextGenATP star Michael Mmoh is picking up where he left off.
The 19 year old is competing at this week’s $75,000 event in Maui, Hawaii, and has shown the results of his hard work during the off-season. Mmoh fought through tough three-set matches against eighth seed Vasek Pospisil of Canada and fellow American Tommy Paul to reach the quarter-finals. He’ll take on another #NextGen ATP star on Friday when he faces second seed Hyeon Chung of Korea.
“I didn’t have the best of weeks at the Australian Open. I could have done a lot better and played a lot better,” said Mmoh, referring to his first-round exit in Melbourne. “But I like the conditions here and it doesn’t get much better than being in Hawaii, so hopefully I can have a good week here.”
Mmoh has jumped more than 175 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings due to his solid results in U.S. Challengers over the past four months. He reached his first Challenger final this past October in Tiburon, California, then picked up his first Challenger title the following month on the indoor hard courts of Knoxville, Tennessee.
The American finished 2016 inside the Top 200, but has plans to climb much higher than that this year. Mmoh also has his sights on the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and wants to continue establishing himself as a rising star in the sport.
“My goal for 2017 is to finish inside the Top 100 and hopefully make the Next Gen ATP Finals,” he said. “That’s definitely one of the goals for any of the guys under 21 that can compete and it’s something we’re all working towards.”
His results during last year's three-tournament indoor swing on U.S. soil were good enough to win the USTA Pro Circuit wild card challenge, earning him a main draw berth into the first Grand Slam of the year. Mmoh said that ending his year on a high note allowed him to approach his off-season training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, with renewed purpose.
“I gained a lot of confidence from my results. It was a big bonus having that going into my off-season and I think my time was more productive because of it,” said Mmoh. "I tried to work on being more aggressive on the court, stepping forward and going for my shots. Whether it’s the serve, forehand, backhand, just trying to be more aggressive in all aspects.”