Lucky Loser Mmoh explains how he almost left Australian Open early

Lucky Loser Mmoh explains how he almost left Australian Open early

by Sebastian Dahlman

Last updated

The story that Michael Mmoh is writing at the 2023 Australian Open is one of the most beautiful tennis stories, and it seems that he still has some ink to write with.

World no. 107 had to play in the qualifying as the ninth-seeded, and despite winning the first two matches comfortably, Mmoh eventually lost to Australian Aleksandar Vukic. However, thanks to a unique system used in tennis ATP & WTA draws, he was able to enter the tournament again, as a lucky loser, after a withdrawal of David Goffin.

The American explained how he got a call about becoming a lucky loser. He was watching an NFL match between Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs. When he got a call, he reacted very quickly.

“I was fully locked in on that game. Then all of a sudden I got a call from the ATP guy. Right when I saw the notification, I answered it right away. Like, literally. I have never answered a phone call so fast in my life. First ring, and I was on it.”

Mmoh didn't have a lot of time to move to the court, and he explained the whole process and how the weather helped him along the way.

“I literally just grabbed my bag, grabbed a bunch of match clothes. Luckily everything was kind of in there already. Went straight to the site. Also luckily, that match slowed down a little bit… Then another thing that went in my favour is I went basically straight to the match court, and then there was that heat delay. That kind of helped me.”

“At that point I just knew, if he wasn't going to take the match, there had to be somebody to take the match. I could see that he was very nervous at that point. I felt like I was playing well, but just things weren't really going my way. But I knew if I won that set, the momentum would have shifted. He would have been thinking about that moment, and I felt like I was the better player.”

The 25-year-old also explained that maybe, if there were some flight that would take him home, he might have missed out on the biggest chance of his life.

“At that point, [I thought I had] zero [chance]. At this point I was even talking to my fiancee, and she was like, ‘Why don't you fly out tonight?’ I was, like, ‘I would, but I don't even think there [are] flights.’ I'm here now. Like, what if I was at the airport and somehow I got a last-minute call? Then I would be screwed. So I've got to stay just this one afternoon basically.”

“I don't know if I'm going to finally wake up or something. It just doesn't seem real. Like, the past 48 hours have been a complete whirlwind from going from being ready to go back home, booking a flight, packing my bags. I was supposed to leave yesterday. Now I'm here, and I just had the best win of my career. It just doesn't seem real.”

Now, he's set to play his third-round match against compatriot J.J. Wolf. Mmoh is already guaranteed to move to his career-high in the ATP Rankings, but he can move in further with a win against Wolf. Currently, he would move to 82nd place and another victory can send him to no. 74.


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