Mmoh wins challenge, secures Australian Open wild card

November 18, 2016 07:20 PM

By E.J. Crawford,

In August, Michael Mmoh won the USTA Boy’s 18s National Championships to earn a wild card into the main draws of the 2016 US Open. Following his run in Flushing Meadows, Mmoh moved on to the professional ranks. He’s continued his winning ways.

On Friday, Mmoh officially won the USTA Pro Circuit Australian Open Wild Card Challenge, securing the most tour ranking points in a series of fall hard-court Pro Circuit events to earn a wild card into the main draw of the 2017 Australian Open. It will be his first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam outside the U.S.

The 18-year-old rising star took the challenge title by winning the $50,000 Knoxville Challenger in Tennessee last week and reaching the quarterfinals of the $50,000 JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana in Champaign, Ill., this week. That gave him 95 points in the challenge, enough to hold off 20-year-old American Jared Donaldson, who could have surpassed Mmoh with a victory in Champaign but lost in the event’s semifinal round.

For the complete USTA Pro Circuit Australian Open Wild Card Challenge standings, click here.

The victory in the Wild Card Challenge continued an outstanding fall for Mmoh, who qualified and reached the final at the $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Tiburon, Calif., in October. Those results have propelled him to a career-best No. 204 in the world.

Mmoh wrapped up a fine junior career this summer by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s Nationals. In 2015, he reached the semifinals at the junior French Open and the quarterfinals at the junior US Open in singles and the doubles semifinals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon juniors to ascend to No. 2 in the world junior rankings.

Mmoh was born in Saudi Arabia but grew up in the U.S. His dad is former ATP professional and Nigerian Olympian Tony Mmoh.

Seventeen-year-old Kayla Day captured the women’s Australian Open wild card a week ago. For more on her victory in the Wild Card Challenge, click here.