Mmoh Targets Top 100, Milan Berth In 2018
After reaching his first ATP World Tour quarter-final at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, Michael Mmoh has set his sights on two milestone achievements in 2018. The 20-year-old American took time to address his targets for the season while competing at the ATP Challenger Tour event in San Francisco, this week.
“One of my goals is to reach the Top 100,” said Mmoh, whose week at the Kunal Patel San Francisco Open culminated with a quarter-final finish. “That is something I am definitely [looking at] to start off with and then I would like to make the Next Gen ATP Finals as well.”
Mmoh watched the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017 on TV, and hopes that this November he’ll be in Milan fighting for the chance to lift the “X” trophy and follow in the footsteps of South Korea’s Hyeon Chung.
“I thought the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals was a cool event and that is why I am targeting it for this year. I want to play there. Being the best 21-and-under player in the world would give you tonnes of confidence, I think you can see in Chung’s game that he has a lot of confidence and believes in his game,” said Mmoh.
As one of five #NextGenATP Americans in the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings, the Florida-based star has a strong group of fellow players around him to push him towards both his goals this year. “It is a friendly competition,” said Mmoh. “We are all pretty good friends but we push each other in a healthy, competitive way. If I see Frances Tiafoe or Taylor Fritz doing well it just motivates me to do the same.”
Mmoh, a two-time winner on the Challenger circuit in Knoxville 2016 and Lexington 2017, is targeting a strong season after struggling with abdominal and shoulder injuries last year. He didn't wait long for his ATP World Tour breakthrough, streaking to the last eight in Brisbane to start the year behind wins over Federico Delbonis and Mischa Zverev.
“Those were my first two ATP World Tour level wins, so I was super excited to get that,” explained Mmoh. “That was one of my goals in the off-season for 2018. I think it was a big moment for me, stepping up to tour-level and getting a couple of wins. Hopefully I can keep going and get a couple more wins in 2018.”
The three-set victory over Zverev gave the American great confidence moving forwards, and Mmoh revealed he is already seeing the benefits of that newfound belief in his results at the Challenger level.
“That win gave me tonnes of confidence,” said Mmoh. “Even more confidence than if I’d have beaten him 6-2, 6-3. It was the fact that I outlasted him in a way, in a three-set battle. That gave me tonnes of confidence from a fitness and mental standpoint. I was really proud that I pulled that one off.
“I know what I am capable of and going back to the ATP Challenger Tour I have higher expectations and more confidence. I don’t think that if I hadn’t had the week in Brisbane that I had, that I would have beat Cameron Norrie [in Newport Beach]. The extra confidence did me a lot of good.”
That surge in confidence, combined with a newly adapted serve for 2018, gives Mmoh a great chance of rising well above his current ATP Ranking of No. 163 and challenging for a place in both the Next Gen ATP Finals and the Top 100.
“I worked on my serve,” said Mmoh. “I made a couple of changes to my technique and motion and it has really been paying off. This year I’ve been serving really well and after that my whole game just starts clicking and then automatically I’m more aggressive.”