Michael Mmoh: American in dreamland after lucky break at Australian Open
American Michael Momoh fears he will wake up and realize his run to the third round of the Australian Open was just a dream.
A few days ago the 25-year-old American was watching an NFL game on TV in his hotel and was ready to head to the airport after losing in qualifying and admitting he had “zero” chance of playing in the first round.
But luck stepped in and injuries to other players meant the world number 109 had a late call-up and on Thursday he beat German 12th seed Alexander Zverev to win against French qualifier Laurent Locoli.
“I don’t know if I’ll finally wake up or something. It doesn’t seem real,” Momoh, who had never made it past the second round at a Grand Slam, told reporters.
“The last 48 hours have been an absolute whirlwind from getting ready to fly back home, booking the flight, packing my bags. I was supposed to go yesterday.
“Now I’m here, and I’ve had the best win of my career. It doesn’t seem real. ”
Asked how events turned in his favor, Momoh explained: “I was talking to my fiancé, you know, he was like, why don’t you fly tonight?
“I was between watching the Bucs and the Cowboys. I was completely off on that game.
“Then suddenly I got a call from the ATP guy. I have never answered a phone call so quickly in my life. First ring, and I was on it. He was, like, yeah, you’re on the next 13 court. ”
After collecting his kit and running to Melbourne Park for their match against Lokoli, Momoh was probably satisfied with his luck. Instead he has given it more milk.
He lost the first set to former world number two Zverev on a tiebreak but won 6-7(1) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to set up a third-round match against fellow American JJ Wolff. started
“I don’t think I’ll ever say I’m an unlucky person for the rest of my life,” Momoh said.
Mmoh is part of an American men’s charge in Melbourne with eight of them in the last 32, including Jenson Brooksby who beat second seed Casper Rude on Thursday.
He said a conversation with compatriot Francis Tiafoe before the clash with Zverev had given him confidence.
“He told me, like you’re going to be in a position to win this match. It’s just, are you going to seize the moment?
“I wanted to make sure that I did that once I got into that position.”
Her sudden run to Melbourne means Momo will have to wait a little longer to be with her fiance, who she proposed to shortly before she left for Australia.
“We should definitely celebrate the moment together when we get back, with the engagement,” she said.