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Michael Mmoh at the 2024 Arizona Tennis Classic. Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
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Exclusive: How To Develop Tennis In Nigeria, Africa – Michael Mmoh

Michael Mmoh is an American tennis player born to a Nigerian father and an Australian mother, but he has never been to his dad’s country before.

In Nigeria, his dad, Tony Mmoh, remains one of the best Nigerians to ever play the racquet game after representing the country at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and playing a couple of Grand Slam events.

But even though he has never been to Nigeria, 26-year-old Michael is not unaware of his paternal roots, and has revealed his plans to visit the country some day.

His exploits at the 2023 Australian Open where he defeated then world number 12, Alexander Zverez, was also one of the highlights of his career that Nigerians have etched in their memories.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Bulus Hits Highest ATP Ranking Ahead Of African Games

In this very brief interview with Nigeria Tennis Live (which was arranged by the ATP), the world number 123-ranked player reveals what he knows about Nigerian tennis players.

Mmoh (Jnr.) also shared the biggest advice he’s ever received as a tennis player, as well as how he believes tennis can be further developed in Nigeria and the whole of Africa.

Michael Mmoh at the 2024 Arizona Tennis Classic. Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
PHOENIX, ARIXONA – March 13: Michael Mmoh (USA) in action on Day 3 of the 2024 Arizona Tennis Classic on March 13, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour)


NTL: What’s your fondest memory about Nigeria?

MM: I’ve actually never gone to Nigeria myself, but I’ve heard a lot of great stories from my dad, and I definitely hope to visit sometime very soon.

It would be great to visit Nigeria with my dad, considering he was born and raised there and played pro tennis for Nigeria for his whole career. So, it would be great to experience it for myself.

READ ALSO: How London Tennis Association Honored Nigeria’s Coach Paul (Photos)

NTL: Are you familiar with any Nigerian player, and if yes, what do you think of them?

MM: Well, of course I know my dad, he was top 100, he played for Nigeria, and I also know some of the players that he played along with like Duke (Nduka) Odizor.

He actually lives here in Houston which is quite ironic, but he and my dad are the best Nigerian tennis players ever, so those are the two that I know pretty well.

NTL: What’s the best tennis advice you’ve ever received?

MM: I would say (from Nick Bollettieri) – to keep on believing in myself no matter what the ups and downs are, to just keep locked in on the long term view of things and to just keep believing.

READ ALSO: Seun Ogunsakin Wins First Ever Match At Eddie Herr Championships

NTL: What advice would you give to kids from Africa, especially Nigeria?

MM: I would say, you know, try as much as you can to experience different cultures. Play tournaments in Europe if you can find a way to do it.

Play tournaments in the US and try to expand your horizon in terms of the players that you practice with and also the tournaments that you play.

I think you can only grow your game and grow your cultural awareness.

NTL: What’s the future of tennis in Africa?

MM: I think the more finances that are put into it, there are so many great athletes in Africa, especially Nigeria and I think that’s just the key – finding the right type of resources for the kids to be able to play at the high level consistently because the talent is there.

You know, I think just making sure there is a good grassroots programme too, so that kids can know they can play tennis and it’s an option.



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