Mmoh Beats World No. 1 Rublev to Advance to Grade A Final; Giron v Nguyen for Mexico Futures Title; Jenkins Wins Again in Australia; Indiana Dismisses Men's Tennis Coach
Michael Mmoh has been on a tear this fall. After saving match points in the quarterfinals of the Pan American Closed against Tommy Paul, the 16-year-old went on to win that tournament, reach the semifinals of the $15,000 Futures in Mansfield, Texas and win a $15,000 Futures in Brownsville. In his first tournament since his title in Brownsville, Mmoh has reached the final of the ITF Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano, defeating world No. 1 Andrey Rublev of Russia in today's semifinals 7-6(1), 6-4.
Mmoh, seeded third, has not dropped a set all week, winning three tiebreakers, all in first sets. Against Rublev, Mmoh had three set points in the opening set with Rublev serving at 5-6, but he failed to convert, even when given the opportunity to feast on a second serve. Rather than mope however, Mmoh stayed positive, and in the tiebreaker he ran out to a 5-1 lead, with Rublev spraying balls all over the court.
Rublev was broken at love to open the second set, but Mmoh couldn't capitalize, getting broken himself to make it 1-1. Mmoh broke again and consolidated, but again the 17-year-old Russian came back, gettting it to 3-all when Mmoh chipped in three double faults in losing his serve. With Rublev serving at 5-4, he again went down 15-40, a theme throughout the match, but after saving one break point, he hit a backhand long to get broken, allowing Mmoh to serve for the match.
An ace got Mmoh to 40-15, but a great pass from Rublev and a netted forehand by Mmoh made it deuce. Mmoh earned his third match point with a forehand winner, and this time he shut the door, getting in a good first serve that Rublev returned long.
Mmoh will play Seong Chan Hong of Korea in the final Sunday. Hong, the No. 4 seed, beat No. 5 seed Mikael Ymer of Sweden 6-0, 6-2. Hong and Mmoh have played twice, with Mmoh winning both, including on clay at the Grade 1 in Belgium this spring, but both matches went to three sets. Live streaming of the finals, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time can be seen here.
Rublev and Taylor Fritz have reached the doubles final, beating Sora Fukuda of Japan and Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-7(7), 6-4, 10-4. The top seeds will meet unseeded Fabian Fallert and Tim Sandkaulen of Germany in Sunday's final, after Fallert and Sandkaulen beat No. 6 seeds Ulises Blanch and Ymer 6-3, 6-0.
The girls singles championship match will feature No. 6 seed Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia and No. 10 seed Dalma Galfi of Hungary, who each assured the other wouldn't face a compatriot in the final. Vikhlyantseva defeated No. 3 seed Fanni Stollar of Hungary 7-6(4), 6-1 and Galfi took out No. 9 seed Anna Blinkova of Russia 6-1, 6-3.
American Ingrid Neel has reached the girls doubles final with Great Britain's Maia Lumsden. The unseeded pair defeated No. 3 seeds Galfi and Katie Swan of Great Britain 7-5, 6-1 in today's semifinal and will face No. 2 seeds Blinkova and Stollar in Sunday's final.
Both Americans lost in the semifinals of the $10,000 Pensacola Futures today, with Justin Shane falling to Ben McLachlan of New Zealand 6-3, 6-4 and Michael Shabaz going out to No. 6 seed Theo Fournerie of France 6-3, 7-6(6).
US fortunes were reversed at the $15,000 Futures in Mexico, with Marcos Giron defeating No. 4 seed Darian King of Barbados 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 and No. 3 seed Daniel Nguyen beating Tigre Hank of Mexico 6-2, 6-4. Nguyen is seeking his third Futures title of the year, Giron his second. Andre Dome and Oscar Fabian Matthews lost in the doubles final, with the unseeded Californians falling to No. 3 seeds Christopher Diaz-Figueroa of Guatemala and Luis Patino of Mexico 7-5, 6-3.
Jarmere Jenkins won his fifth Futures title of the year and third since October, with the top seed defeating unseeded Jose Statham of New Zealand 6-4, 7-5 in the final of the $15,000 Futures in Australia.
In college news, Indiana University has dismissed men's head coach Randy Bloemendaal and assistant coach Sander Koning as a result of the aftermath of an investigation into secondary NCAA violations. In the interim, associate athletic director Jeremy Gray will take over the program and will lead the search for replacements.