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Five Things To Know About Michael Mmoh, Nad al’s Next Opponent

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Michael Mmoh pulled off a stunning comeback in the first round of the Australian Open against Viktor Troicki. The Serbian was up two sets to one and served for the match in the fourth set.

 

 

Even after letting slip that opportunity, the former World No. 12 immediately broke in the fifth set and took a 3-0 lead. Mmoh kept battling to turn the tide, successfully doing so after five sets and more than four hours.

Michael Mmoh

His reward? A chance to play 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.

Before the World No. 177 gets his shot at the Spaniard, ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about Mmoh.

1) He Grew Up In Saudi Arabia, Is A Citizen Of the United States & Australia
Mmoh spent much of his childhood in Saudi Arabia. Geraldine O’Reilly, his mother, is a nurse from Ireland through whom he also has Australian citizenship (more on that later). His father, former World No. 105 Tony Mmoh, is from Nigeria.

2) Named After Michael Jordan, He Got Into Sports Early
At the age of six, while living in Saudia Arabia, Mmoh was an early riser. His father would discover him in the early hours of the morning outside hitting tennis balls against a wall or shooting hoops. Mmoh was named after Michael Jordan, the NBA legend who played for the Chicago Bulls. By the age of nine, Mmoh was entering 18-and-under tennis tournaments and men’s open’s divisions in Saudi Arabia.

Michael Mmoh

3) Mmoh Moved To The United States At 13
The junior Mmoh received plenty of attention at a young age, and it led to a big change in his life. Mmoh, then 12, won the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl Tennis Championships in Florida, and legendary coach Nick Bollettieri of the IMG Academy offered him a scholarship to join his programme. The junior accepted the offer months later and made the move. He still resides in Florida today, a decade later. “I think the big thing about Michael Mmoh was his size,” Bollettieri said. “And he liked hitting the crap out of the ball, and I liked that.”

Mmoh spent several years under the tutelage of Glenn Weiner, who also spent three years coaching Kei Nishikori. Last year during the pandemic, Mmoh was able to practise with the likes of Miomir Kecmanovic and Sebastian Korda in that area.

4) He Has Home-Court Advantage At The Australian Open
Mmoh’s mother moved to Melbourne in December 2016, where several cousins also live. The American, who says the city “feels like a second home”, recalls visiting almost every Christmas. It’s no surprise he’s comfortable at the Australian Open, which is held in Melbourne. He enjoys the food in particular.

Michael-Mmoh

“I’ve been in New York, been all over Europe, been all over the States. No. 1 spot in the world is Melbourne,” Mmoh said. “No. 2 I would say is culture. People are so nice over here, really welcoming. Always ready to help you and you enjoy being in Melbourne. You never feel uncomfortable walking down the streets in Melbourne. I think that’s a big plus.”

5) Mmoh Has Excelled On The ATP Challenger Tour, Nadal Will Be Biggest Test
Mmoh owns 10 tour-level match wins, but most of his success has come on the ATP Challenger Tour. The 23-year-old is a five-time titlist at that level, triumphing most recently in Knoxville in 2019. At that tournament, Mmoh only dropped one set in six matches. He lifted his first Challenger trophy at the same event in 2016 at the age of 18.

Facing Nadal will be the biggest challenge of Mmoh’s career. It will be the second Top 10 opponent he has faced, joining Roberto Bautista Agut at last year’s Australian Open. While Mmoh lost against the Spaniard in that match, he defeated then-World No. 15 Bautista Agut at the 2018 Miami Open presented by Itau for his biggest win by FedEx ATP Ranking.

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‘I was down’: Federer had hard time before 2nd knee surgery

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Roger Federer never seriously contemplated retirement while he was away from the tennis tour for more than a year. He did have a hard time dealing with the need for a repeat operation on his bad right knee, though.

“I was down. Obviously I couldn’t believe I had to do a second one,” Federer said Sunday ahead of his appearance at the Qatar Open. “This is definitely a moment where you maybe question a little bit more.”

The 39-year-old Federer’s first match since the 2020 Australian Open will come Wednesday in Doha against Dan Evans or Jeremy Chardy.

Federer’s first procedure on his right knee occurred in February 2020. That knee kept swelling up after bike rides or walks with his four children; he announced in June that he had had a second surgery.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion will monitor how this comeback goes over the next several months and then assess things.

“I know it’s more on the rare side for almost a 40-year-old to come back after almost a year being out. And I was surprised how long it took. But I took a decision quite early with the team that I wanted to take the time, no rush, to get back onto the tour,” he said. “Important is that I’m injury-free, pain-free, and I can actually enjoy myself out there on tour. So we’ll see how it goes now. I’m curious myself to find out.”

What seemed clear from Federer’s session with reporters on Sunday: Wimbledon is what matters the most to him at this point.

He has won a men’s-record eight titles at the All England Club and came oh-so-close to a ninth in the 2019 final there, holding two championship points before eventually losing to Novak Djokovic in a fifth-set tiebreaker.

Wimbledon was canceled last year for the first time since 1945 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is scheduled to be played June 28 to July 11.

“I know I need to go back to training after here again,” said Federer, who pulled out of the Miami Open later this month. “So from this standpoint, it’s still a building up to being stronger, better, fitter, faster and all that stuff. I hope, then, by Wimbledon, I’m going to be 100%, and from then on, then the season really starts for me. Everything until then, it’s just ‘Let’s see how it goes.’”

He is curious what travel and tournament life will be like during a pandemic — “bubble life, quarantines all around, the whole mask situation” — and, most of all, how his repaired knee handles competition.

“That’s really the only concern I have: Is the knee going to hold up? As of now, I’m not sure,” Federer said. “I did everything I possibly could.”

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Serena Williams & More Celebs React To Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Interview With Oprah

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s two hour tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey shocked everyone when the couple revealed what it was like being senior members of the royal family and why they chose to step back. They openly spoke about their current relationships with their royal family members, the deep personal struggles they faced while living in London and their hopes for the future as the become a family of four. One of Meghan’s closest friends, Serena Williams, praised her with a powerful note but she wasn’t the only famous person her take on the bombshell interview. Celebrities, sports stars, journalists and more are reacting on social media.

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Serena Williams called Meghan Markle ‘truly noble’ after her tell-all interview – see inside their 7-year friendship

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They may be the greatest tennis player of all time and the first American to marry into the royal family in decades (and the first to leave in decades), but Serena Williams and Meghan Markle have remained loyal friends since their first real hang out in 2014.

Since then, the two have became close confidantes, with Markle regularly attending Williams’ tennis matches, and Williams defending her friend from the mountain of negative attention she’s received since 2017. After Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Williams took to Instagram to call her friend “truly noble.”

Keep scrolling to learn more about their sweet, yet private, friendship.

February 2010: Williams and Markle meet at the Super Bowl in Miami.

Markle wrote on her now-defunct blog The Tig that the two crossed paths for the first time in Miami during the 2010 Super Bowl. But it would take a few more years for their friendship to blossom.

February 2014: They become friends while playing in the DirecTV Beach Bowl.

Markle, who was then starring on “Suits,” and Williams crossed paths again at the event, playing flag football together at a celebrity game.

“We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girlie stuff. So began our friendship,” Markle would write later on The Tig.

September 2014: Markle congratulates Williams on Twitter for winning the US Open, and their friendship grows.

Markle shared more about their friendship on The Tig: “She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was traveling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with just a couple weeks ago in Toronto.”

She added, “We are both the same age, have a penchant for hot sauces, and adore fashion, but what connects us more than those things is perhaps our belief in exceeding expectations — our endless ambition.”

January 2015: Markle once again congratulates Williams on winning, this time the Australian Open.

“So happy for you @serenawilliams!! I was juuuust hugging you for your win at #usopen. Now @AustralianOpen! #onfire,” Markle tweeted alongside a photo of them hugging at the US Open.

September 2016: Markle posts a funny photo of the two at Fashion Week and congratulates Williams for her line.

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