Michael Moh was sitting in his hotel room on Tuesday watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL playoffs. The American lost in the final round of Australian Open qualifying and his hopes of a place in the main draw looked slim, so he booked his flight home.
“I was completely locked in that game. Then all of a sudden I got a call from an ATP player. Right when I saw the notification, I immediately answered it. I have never answered a phone call so quickly in my life. My first ring, and I was calling her.”
The 25-year-old was told to be on site and prepare, as there was a possibility of a withdrawal that could result in him being entered into a draw. Once David Goffin dropped out, the American was next on Court 13 to play France’s Laurent Lecoli. In the match leading up to them, Linda Frohvertova was edging out Jamie Vorlis 6-0, 2-0.
“I just grabbed my bag, grabbed a matching set of clothes. Luckily everything was already there. Went straight to the site,” said Mmo. Fortunately also, that match slowed down a bit…
“Then another thing that was in my favor was I went straight to the field for the game, and then there was a massive delay. That kind of helped me.”
However, heat was not the only factor. It also rained, wreaking havoc on the match. Through the whirlwind of events, Lokoli led 6-4, 6-2, 6-6 (6/6), when a rain delay knocked the players off the field with the Frenchman two points from the victory. When they came back, Moh missed a short forehand to give Lokoli a match point, putting the world No. 175 on the brink of his first win at tour level. The Frenchman made a mistake twice in giving life to Camouh.
“At that point I just knew, if he wasn’t going to take the match, there had to be someone out there to take the match. I could see he was really nervous at that point,” said Mmo. “I felt like I was playing well, but things just weren’t going my way. But I knew if I won that set, the momentum would change. He was thinking about that moment, and I felt like I was the better player.”
The American took full advantage. He won the tiebreaker, taking the fourth set and leading 3-1 in the decider, when the weather stopped play again, this time until Wednesday.
When the players continued to match, the drama was much less. Mohamed Moh starred in the rest of the fifth set and won 6-2 in the deciding set to reach the second round at Melbourne Park for the third time. It hadn’t been long since he was sitting in his hotel room getting ready to go home.
“At that point, [I thought I had] zero [chance]. At this point I was talking to my fiancée, and she was like, “Why don’t you fly out tonight?” I was, like, ‘I would, but I’m not even thinking there [are] flights.” “I am here now. Like, what if you’re at the airport and somehow you get a call at the last minute? Then I’ll be screwed. So I should only stay this afternoon.”
The dream run didn’t stop there. Mohd Moh on Thursday stunned two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev in four sets to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
“I don’t know if I’m finally going to wake up or something. It just doesn’t feel real. Like, the past 48 hours have been a complete whirlwind of going from getting ready to going home, booking a flight, packing my bags. I was supposed to,” Momo said. I leave yesterday.” Now I’m here, and I just had the best win of my career. It doesn’t look real.”
Australian Open where he upset Alexander Zverev “/>
He was unable to play during the second round in Melbourne, where he upset Zverev. Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Mmoh has reached No. 82 on the Pepperstone ATP Live Ranking, which will put him at a new career high on January 30 regardless of how he performs for the rest of the fortnight. But this did not come out of nowhere.
The American finished 2022 on a high, winning two ATP Challenger Tour titles and reaching another final from September. He attributes it to staying healthy.
“To be honest, I haven’t been healthy my whole career. I think in 2018 I came out of the top 100, I was the main draw of the Australian Open, I was the main draw [in] Some of the following events for ATP. “I was injured, and I was out for six months,” said Mamouh. “It’s always been a dead end in my career, but for the last 12 months or 12-14 months I’ve been 100 percent healthy.
“I’ve been playing every event I want to play. I think that’s a blessing because not every week is going to go your way.”
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Mmoh enjoys the dream of running on and off the field. A month ago, he proposed to his fiancée, Clara Marcela. Now JJ Wolf will play for a place in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
“Crazy. Crazy. You know, because the thing I suggested, and then I left two days later for these tournaments. So it might have been a little sad if I came back and lost in the playoffs.” “At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, but to come back after probably the biggest win of my career… We should definitely celebrate that moment together when we come back, along with the engagement.”