Mmoh Leads American Charge On Day Two Of US Open Qualifying
Six Americans advanced to the second round of qualifying at the US Open on Wednesday, with #NextGenATP Michael Mmoh leading the pack. Blasting his forehand and backhand with precision, Mmoh earned a routine 6-3, 6-2 win over Igor Sijsling in 59 minutes.
"It definitely feels very special to get through, especially at a home tournament here at the US Open," Mmoh told ATPWorldTour.com. "I didn't know what to expect. A few years ago he was ranked around 50 in the world and beat guys like Tsonga, so I knew he could play. I just had to be on my toes and expect anything that was coming to me."
Mmoh enters in strong form after clinching his second ATP Challenger Tour title earlier this month in Lexington. He joins Reilly Opelka, who won his opener on Tuesday, as #NextGenATP Americans to reach the second round of qualifying. Mmoh will next face Turkey's Cem Ilkel, while Opelka is set to square off against eighth seed Peter Gojowczyk.
Other Americans carrying the flag into the second round include veteran Tim Smyczek, who reached the third round in 2013, as well as Mitchell Krueger, Austin Krajicek, Evan King and Raymond Sarmiento. Krueger rallied for a grueling 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Brayden Schnur, reeling off the last four games of the match from 5-3 down in the decider. Krajicek also fought back from a third-set break deficit, defeating Mohamed Safwat 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4) after two hours and 22 minutes.
"I'm not really sure how I pulled that out," said Tampa, Florida native Krajicek. "I just found a way. "He played lights out at first and I just tried to stay in it and make some first serves. Getting the break in the third made the difference and I was able to close it out from there. It could have gone either way. I'm just trying to enjoy the moment. It was just great to pull a match out like that today."
Making his return to the US Open after a four-year hiatus, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe got off to a winning start with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Aldin Setkic. World No. 106 Stebe is close to becoming one of the biggest movers to the Top 100 this year, having started the season at No. 471.
Meanwhile, four other #NextGenATP stars joined Mmoh as winners on Day Two, with Stefanos Tsitsipas rallying past Di Wu 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, Matteo Berrettini posting a 6-2, 7-6(0) victory over Marcelo Arevalo, Duckhee Lee downing Gerald Melzer 6-4, 6-3 and Christian Garin securing a 6-3, 6-4 win over Marcos Giron under the lights. Garin and 21-year-old Nicolas Jarry lead the Chilean contingent in qualifying.
Jarry claimed five of 10 break chances to defeat Calvin Hemery 7-5, 6-3 in 75 minutes. The Santiago native is up to a career-high No. 130 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in his comeback from a broken wrist. He enters New York with considerable momentum at his back after picking up his first ATP Challenger Tour title last month in Medellin, Colombia.
"It's amazing," Jarry told ATPWorldTour.com. "The atmosphere here in New York is just amazing. There's so much energy. We've rented an apartment in Manhattan and to go downstairs in the evening and hear all the typical New York noises and the taxis is pretty cool. I'm happy to win my first match here."
All second round matches will be contested on Thursday, with coveted spots in Friday's final round on the line. Matches to watch include fourth seed Sergiy Stakhovsky facing 17-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, an all-#NextGenATP clash between Tsitsipas and Berrettini, and Jarry battling Darian King of Barbados. Denis Shapovalov, Leonardo Mayer, Casper Ruud and Nicolas Mahut are other big names still in contention.