Black History Month Profile:
E.J. Crawford | February 5, 2016
Never in tennis history have there been as many promising, talented African-American tennis players as there are today. In celebration of Black History Month, here is a look at one of those players – following in the tradition of Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and the Williams sisters – who is on the cusp of breaking through and leaving his very own imprint on the top ranks of the professional game.
The Michael Mmoh File
Hometown: Temple Hills, MD
Current Rank: 387
Career-High Rank: 385 (October 2015)
Getting to Know Michael Mmoh:
- Mmoh is a Nigerian-Irish-Australian-American who was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He grew up in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., and currently trains with Nick Bollettieri’s program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
- His father, Tony Mmoh, played on the ATP World Tour and competed for Nigeria in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, advancing to the second round in singles.
He also reached the second round of the US Open in 1985.
- Michael had his breakout season in 2014. On the junior level, he went 5-0 to help lead the U.S. to the Junior Davis Cup title (16 and under) and captured the prestigious Orange Bowl doubles title with fellow American Stefan Kozlov. In the pro ranks, he won the first three tournaments of his career, all at Futures events on the USTA Pro Circuit.
- He peaked at No. 2 in the ITF World Junior rankings in 2015, after reaching the boys’ singles semifinals at the French Open, the boys’ singles quarterfinals at the US Open and the boys’ doubles semifinals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
- Mmoh, who stands at 6-foot-1, is powered by a big forehand, which he considers his best shot, and has the kind of easy power that should translate well to the professional ranks.