Archive for January, 2016

2016 USTA Pro Circuit – Long Beach, CA

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Hey Tennis Friends!

Welcome to the ninth season here at GroundsPass.net!

Just last week, I took a trip to the USTA Pro Circuit Long Beach Futures Pro Tournament to cover the finals for the second year of this event:

Here is the result for the featured match:

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND:
Yannick Hanfmann d. Michael Mmoh 6-4, 6-0

Mmoh’s father, Tony Mmoh, was a professional tennis player from Nigeria, and once reached a high of No. 105 in the world. Michael Mmoh grew up in Saudi Arabia. Since then, his family moved to the United States to train full-time, and settled near the Washington D.C. area.

Mmoh trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the world ITF junior rankings after reaching the singles semifinals at the junior French Open and the quarterfinals at the junior U.S. Open in 2015. He won his first career USTA Pro Circuit singles title at the $15,000 Futures in Brownsville, Texas, in 2014. He added two additional USTA Pro Circuit titles in 2015 at the $15,000 Futures in Godfrey, Ill., and the $15,000 Futures in Houston.

The 24-year-old Hanfmann, who graduated last May with a degree in International Studies, beat fellow college graduate Eric Quigley, 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinal.

Hanfmann, who was top-seeded in qualifying the previous week at USC, winning three rounds before falling in the second round of the main draw, gained direct entry into the Long Beach Tournament in part because of withdraws from Tennys Sandgren and Mackenzie McDonald.

“I like it this way better,” said Hanfmann, who has won two Pro Futures titles, both $10,000 events in his native Germany. “Not having to qualify does make things easier for me.”

Hanfmann thinks Mmoh has the potential to make it big, if he can stay focused and aggressive. “I think he’s got a lot of weapons and I just told him I thought he played a little bit too passive today,” Hanfmann said. “Maybe he was a little bit nervous, but I think once he steps up and starts hitting that big forehand and good backhand and starts using his weapons, I think he can be really dangerous.”

GroundsPass.net subscribers may remember Hanfmann when he was featured in my coverage of the USC Trojans’ men’s tennis team as they took on the Cal Berkeley Golden Bears back in 2014:
2014 USC v. CAL

Additional information in this report was provided by the USTA Pro Circuit PR Press Aide, Steve Pratt.

Here is the link to the page with the USTA Pro-Circuit events that we have in the United States this year:
2015 USTA Pro Circuit Calendars

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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