Big day for American tennis players at the Australian Open. The icing on the cake was put by Michael Mmoh, who just a few days ago was packing his bags for his country, after losing in the last round of the qualifying phase and now, after being recalled for a last minute baa, he is already in the third round.
And he does it after a great victory by 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 over the German Alexander Zverev, in what was his first Grand Slam since his injury in Roland Garros. “Just when you think everything looks dim, everything looks dark, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and my week is proof of that,” Mmoh said.
“I could have easily been in the United States at this point. I was ready to go, I was packing my suitcase, I had my flight booked, actually I was supposed to leave yesterday morning.” Having spent countless Christmases Down Under with his mother’s family, Mmoh paid tribute to a cheering contingent of his Australian cousins from the stands.
“I feel like I’m half Australian because of them,” he said. “Obviously, this is the biggest win of my career, hands down. I definitely felt the nerves a bit.” I felt like I calmed down at the end of the first one, but at that point he was telling myself that he shouldn’t even be here…
“The last thing I wanted to do was not try when I had the chance.” Backing up a comfortable victory over former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem, fifth seed Andrey Rublev steadied himself to close the door on the temporary rise of Emil Ruusuvuori.
Amidst swirling winds, the 25-year-old prevailed 6-2 6-4 6-7(2) 6-3 to set up a third-round matchup with Britain’s Daniel Evans. Ninth seed Holger Rune kept up his impressive start to the tournament, picking up his second straight sets victory in as many matches as he denied American Maxime Cressy.
Alexander Zverev is not disappointed
After his hard-won victory in five sets against Juan Pablo Varillas (103rd) in the 1st round, Alexander Zverev declared that his tournament was already a “success”. He therefore analyzed his defeat against Michael Mmoh with lucidity this Thursday.
“I came here without expectations, without a goal, this tournament has been a good test with a match in five sets already. I know how I came physically. I still have a long way to go to find my best level. My foot is fine, but not as good as before.
I’m not as fast as before. In short, I have improved in the last two weeks, I am better and better. It’s a very positive thing for me,” said the German.
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