ATP Miami: Alexander Zverev Ekes Out Tight Win Over Michael Mmoh

ATP Miami: Alexander Zverev Ekes Out Tight Win Over Michael Mmoh

In a matchup between two 18-year-olds, it was Alexander Zverev who got over the finish line in two tight sets.

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Pavitra Ganesan

Alexander Zverev started off his Miami Open campaign on center court against Michael Mmoh. It was a first round clash between two 18-year-olds, with Zverev the more accomplished of the two ranked at 52. For Mmoh, it was his first ATP Masters 1000 appearance.

Zverev looked to be in control in the first set but he was missing all the chances to break. The set eventually went to a tiebreak, which the German grabbed. The second set was going the way of Mmoh before Zverev clawed his way back to force it to a tiebreak. The German eventually got the win with a 7-6(3), 7-6(4) straight sets victory.

Zverev Fails To Capitalize On Early Chances But Takes The Set In Tiebreak

Successive double faults from Mmoh handed Zverev with his first break point of the match in the opening game. Though Mmoh fended off one, he let loose another double fault gifting another break point to the young German. This time, he came up with a big serve to save once again before going on to close his first game. Besides that early scare, the next few games went on serves for the American.

Zverev, on the other hand, was racing though his games, holding with ease, having yet to lose a point on serve in his first three service games. Mmoh hung on and kept the lead before creating his first break chance in the eighth game. It was the first time Zverev dropped any points and even though his serve came to his aid, he was finding it difficult to seal the game. He was forced to save twice in his longest game to date of the match as he eventually closed out for 4-4.

Mmoh fended off the German and hung on to bring the set to a tiebreak | Photo courtesy of: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mmoh fended off the German and hung on to bring the set to a tiebreak | Photo courtesy of: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Zverev who looked the better of the two in the early stages of the match was seeing his level drop as his errors count crept up. For his part, Mmoh was hanging on and brought the set to a tiebreak. The German though was in control racing to a 6-1 lead as Mmoh lost serve twice. Zverev went on to complete the set 7-6(3).

Mmoh Loses The Lead And Eventually The Match In Another Tiebreak

Zverev, after taking the first set, seemed to run out of steam handing an immediate break to the American. Mmoh raced away to a 3-0 lead as the German hit three double faults in a poor game, gifting the American with the double break. Double fault woes was now back for Mmoh who lost the next game on a double fault. Zverev finally held his serve to reduce the deficit to 2-3.

Mmoh lost an early lead in the second set due to some poor serves | Photo courtesy of: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mmoh lost an early lead in the second set due to some poor serves | Photo courtesy of: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Both players tidied up their serves considerably as the next two games went on serves. Zverev carved a chance to get the break back to level the score in the eighth game. An exquisite backhand pass did the trick as the German got himself back on level for 4-4. Zverev won his next game to put the pressure on Mmoh in a must-win service game. Not long after that, Mmoh did well to hold and the set headed for another tiebreak.

Like in the first set tiebreak, it was the German who got the early mini-break for 2-1 but this time Mmoh got it back to go 4-3 in front. Two huge serves from the German got him back on top to 5-4. Zverev stepped it up absolutely hammering a forehand to set up two match points. Mmoh disappointingly missed an easy shot to gift the set and match to the German.

Zverev won both tiebreaks to advance to the second round | Photo courtesy of: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Zverev won both tiebreaks to advance to the second round | Photo courtesy of: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Match Statistics

It was not a clinical win for Zverev as he hit 43 unforced errors. The American himself fared poorly in that account as he hit 37 errors. The German did hit 10 more winners than his opponent at 26.

Both came to the net quite often as Zverev won 15 out of 23 points while Mmoh managed to win six out of 11 times and among those he lost was a horrible miss on match point.

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