Fixture: Michael Mmoh vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Date: 28 September 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Michael Mmoh vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert preview
American qualifier Michael Mmoh will face France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Monday, in the first round of the 2020 French Open.
The 22-year-old Mmoh has recorded his first couple of wins in Slam main draws this year, reaching the second round at both the Australian Open and the US Open. Having qualified for the main draw at Roland Garros for the first time in his career, Mmoh would look to continue the pattern and rack up a win or two in Paris.
That said, the American is fairly inexperienced on clay. In fact, he has never played a main draw ATP match on the surface.
Mmoh never managed to make a claycourt final even on the Challenger tour. However, it should be noted that he did make the semifinals of the French Open junior tournament back in 2015.
Mmoh's opponent on Monday, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, is also more of a hardcourt specialist himself. That is despite the fact that Herbert grew up on the claycourts of France, and has a lot of experience playing on the surface.
The 29-year-old has managed only four main draw wins at his home Slam in five appearances, with his career-best result being a third-round appearance in 2018. But Herbert has tasted silverware in Paris, winning the men's doubles event with partner Nicolas Mahut in 2018.
Michael Mmoh vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert head-to-head
Michael Mmoh and Pierre-Hugues Herbert have never met before on the ATP tour; the opening round match at Roland Garros will be the first career face-off between the two.
As such, the head-to-head between the pair currently stands at 0-0.
Michael Mmoh vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert prediction
Michael Mmoh has been known for his quick-striking game since his days on the junior circuit. The 22-year-old has a strong and aggressive forehand, and can consistently hit deep groundstrokes off both sides.
While that should help him on clay, what might be his undoing is his slightly below-par returning ability. The American often struggles at returning well-placed serves, setting up numerous winners for his opponents through short replies.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert, meanwhile, has been anything but solid in the three tournaments he has played since returning from the COVID break. Herbert's serve, one of his major weapons, has been misfiring too often for the 29-year-old to find any rhythm.
The heavier balls at this year's French Open coupled with the cooler conditions would be quite counter-productive to Herbert's attacking but relatively underpowered game. But if his serve clicks, the home favorite might still be able see it through against the inexperienced Michael Mmoh.
Prediction: Pierre-Hugues Herbert to win in five sets.Published 27 Sep 2020, 11:55 IST