Q&A: Junior Top 10 Player Michael Mmoh
An exclusive Interview
Standing at a towering 6-foot-1 and in the top 10 of junior rankings, 16-year-old American Michael Mmoh is looking to bring his hard-hitting game to the pro tour.
You’ve had success on the junior circuit, and now the Futures tour. How would you describe the last twelve months?
The start to 2013 was pretty tough because I had a few injuries, wrist and abdominal, but I was surprised that my best results came after the [injuries]. I’ve grown a lot, and I’m still growing, so that might be why I’ve had the injuries. Now I’m focusing on doing a lot of prehabilitation and stretching. Injuries are part of the sport but my coaches have been helping me prepare and prevent as best I can.
What are the biggest strengths in your game?
My biggest strengths are my serve and forehand. My serve has always been the most natural shot for me. I’ve always been a pretty strong kid. Even when I was young I hit it pretty hard. I guess I have a pretty live arm. But I’ve had to work on my forehand a lot, and it has really improved to now being one of my best shots.
Who were some of your role models growing up?
My dad, Tony, was definitely my biggest influence. He was a professional, top 100, and he has really helped me to be where I am today. I also always looked up to Andy Roddick. He was the top American when I was young and I really enjoyed watching him play.
What goals have you set for yourself?
I want to have some success on the Futures tour this year. Hopefully I can rack up some ATP points so that I can start to play professional events more regularly. But I also want to perform well in the Junior Slams, because I haven’t had the chance to play in many yet.
You train at the IMG Academy in Florida, how has that experience been?
I really like it. The environment and atmosphere are perfect for me. Everybody wants you to get better and to succeed. The facilities are amazing.
What player on the pro tour do you look up to the most now and why?
Gael Monfils. I really like the way he plays and his personality on the court. I think there are some similarities in our games as well.
With the recent commentary about the struggles of American men’s tennis, how much pressure do you feel and does that motivate you and the other Americans?
Yeah, for sure it motivates us. I think there are a lot of guys that are getting ready to break through. I think Stefan [Kozlov], Francis [Tiafoe] and myself are all very talented and we have a lot of potential.
TV show: Prison Break
Movie: Rush Hour 3
School Subject: Math
Hobby: Playing football
Athlete: Robert Griffin III
Music artist: Tupac