IMG Academy student-athlete Michael Mmoh was determined to win the Boys 14s division of the 51st annual Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship this week. Not only was it 'mission accomplished' for the top-seeded Mmoh, but he did so without dropping a single set in seven matches. Mmoh became the first IMG Academy student to win the Boys 14s at the Junior Orange Bowl since Germany's Tommy Haas accomplished the feat in 1992.
In the quarterfinals, Mmoh made short work of his opponent Zeke Clark of Tulsa, Okla. to advance to the semifinal, 6-1, 6-3. In the semifinals, Mmoh was matched against No. 3 seed Nathan Ponwith of Scottsdale, Ariz. Ponwith made a monumental leap in the ITF Junior rankings prior to the event, going from No. 2,091 to 891 since late October. However, Mmoh had defeated Ponwith twice before, and once again, Ponwith had no answers for Mmoh's quickness and power. Mmoh kept his momentum going into the final, 6-0, 6-2.
In the final, Mmoh only had to defeat No. 6 seed Marko Osmakcic of Switzerland. Osmakcic is a player who has not yet made his mark in the International Tennis Federation rankings, but has already earned a spot in the Tennis Europe rankings as No. 26 overall in junior boys, and No. 2 overall in Boys 14 competition. Osmakcic was looking to avenge an earlier 6-2, 6-0 loss to Mmoh at the ITF World Junior Tennis 14-and-under Team Championships in August, but Mmoh, battle tested from competing primarily in Boys 18s competition since September, was more than ready for the challenge. Mmoh won again in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5 to claim the Boys 14s championship.
Mmoh was not the only IMG Academy player to pick up some wins at the Junior Orange Bowl. India's Basil Khuma, made it all the way to the Boys 14 consolation final after losing in the main draw round of 64. Khuma racked up an impressive eight match win streak heading into the final, but met his match against Australia's Oliver Anderson, who bested Khuma, 6-4, 6-1. Khuma arrived on campus through the IMG Reliance student-athlete program, which offers aspiring young athletes in India in the sports of tennis, soccer and basketball the opportunity to train under the guidance of world-class coaches at IMG Academy’s top-notch facilities.