American Youngsters Go 2-for-3 on Day 2

Tommy Paul ATP Adelaide International, American Youngsters

Among the 12 American men entered into the 2020 Australian Open main draw, three are under 25 years old and were yet to win their first singles match in a Grand Slam event.  All were in action on Day 2. A pair of 22-year-olds, Tommy Paul and Michale Mmoh nabbed their first-ever Slam level victories. 23-year-old Georgian Chris Eubanks must wait until another day as his attempt to have the young trio go three for three fell short. 

Tommy Paul’s Continued Success

The highest-ranked of the three, world #80 Tommy Paul picked up on his success from the end of 2019. After dropping the first set to 32-year-old Argentine Leonardo Mayer by 6-4, Paul turned the tide three times in a row. By identical 6-4 scores, Paul won the next three sets to advance to the second round of a Slam for the first time.  Paul will face #18 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.  

Paul struggled in the slam qualifying events during much of 2019 before gaining significant traction in late season Challenger events.  Dimitrov is a long way from the Challenger level so Paul will face a stiff test in round 2. 

Mmoh Makes the Most of Wild Card

Tennis Australia holds the authority on wild cards for this event.  The organization shares one of the wild cards with the USTA, which does likewise with the US Open and Tennis Australia. 22-year-old Michael Mmoh made the most of the one American wild card by advancing to round two in Melbourne.  

Mmoh carried an 0-5 record in Grand Slam singles matches into the 2020 Aussie Open. Mmoh changed that zero to a one with authority.  The world #217, Mmoh dusted off Spain’s Pablo Andujar in three sets. The 33-year-old Spaniard ranks over 150 spots ahead of Mmoh at world #63.  Alas, the matches are not played on paper; Mmoh dropped only 9 games in dispatching Andujar in under two hours. #9 seed Roberto Bautista Agut awaits Mmoh in round two; the pixie dust will have worn off by then as Bautista Agut will be too much for the successful young American.

Not Yet for Eubanks

Attempting to make the young American trio three for three, Chris Eubanks could not handle fellow qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.  Despite very solid play to advance through qualifying, Eubanks could not erase his past defeats in the main draw. Eubanks dropped his match in 4 sets, including a 6-0 final set. He is now 0-4 in slam main draw matches.

Mixed Round for Americans

Overall the American contingent at the year’s first open brought mixed results.  The group ended the first round with a 6-6 record. Winners included #19 seed John Isner, rocket serving Sam Querrey as well as Taylor Fritz and Tennys Sandgren. Along with Eubanks, Mackie McDonald, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe and Marcos Giron and Reilly Opelka dropped their opening matches. 

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