KNOXVILLE, November 14, 2016
Michael Mmoh is the champion of the eighth edition of the $50,000 Knoxville Challenger, winning Sunday’s final 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 over Peter Polansky from Canada.
Mmoh’s showed some impressive defense skills, dugging in for every point despite suffering from an ab injury in the second set. The 18-year-old from Bradenton sent down seven aces and capitalized on four of his six break point opportunities to prevail in two hours and three minutes.
“It’s a big week and huge step in my professional career, and hopefully many more to come,” said Mmoh. After lifting four trophies on the ITF Pro Circuit, Mmoh eventually clinched his maiden title on the ATP Challenger Tour, taking away $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.
“Hopefully I progress to the next level, but it’s an unbelievable feeling right now. I never imagined before this week, or actually a couple of months ago, I never pictured myself in the finals and winning a Challenger in consecutive months, so I’m really happy.”
The US-American teenager has reached a new career high world No. 204 in Monday’s ATP Rankings.
“Long term, I definitely think my goal is to win a Grand Slam and be top-10 in the world,” Mmoh said. “Those are my two goals and hopefully I can aspire and keep pushing to do that.”
Polansky said: “He’s super talented, super fit. I think he’s one of the more athletic 18 year olds I know and he’s still got so much more time to mature. I think for sure eventually he’ll get inside the top 100 and when he gets there, who knows where he’ll go? I think he’ll be a good player.”
Canadians Take Doubles Crown
Later the day, Peter Polansky was back in action, teaming up with Adil Shamasdin to clinch the doubles title. The Canadian tandem defeated the all-Belgian-combination of Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1, 6-3 in 50 minutes.