TENNIS: The Fairfield Challenger reaches the Quarter-Finals stage today, two of which we preview here.

Michael Mmoh v Shang Juncheng

Michael Mmoh has been climbing the ATP world rankings since the start of 2022 and will aim to top off an impressive season with at least a semi-final at the Fairfield Challenger in the United States.

Making his way through the season with wins against many players higher than him in the rankings, Mmoh has shown his desire for the next level of professional tennis and continues to push towards another ATP Challenger title.

Now ranked 133rd in the world, he is edging his way towards the top 100 – the status of one of the world’s elite tennis players. He has had some patchy form in 2022, perhaps the reason he hasn’t quite cracked the top 100 for a while, but he comes into this match as the 1.61 favourite.

Though Mmoh struggled over the summer, he has only lost one match since the start of September and was only just denied an eight-win streak when he lost to Zachary Svajda at the recent Tiburon Challenger. Winning his next two matches, he appears to have found his form again, and after winning the Cary Challenger final in straight sets only last month, he will certainly fancy his chances in this one.

His opponent, Shang Juncheng, is in good form, despite losing twice in his last five matches. Ranked 206th in the world, he is undoubtedly the underdog in this match, but he has shown great determination in the tournament so far, beating the British Charles Broom after losing the second set. Juncheng has a win probability of 40% with BETDAQ and odds of 2.39 to win the match and advance to the semi-final. Though he is the underdog and is expected to lose if Mmoh plays his best tennis, an upset could be on the cards as Juncheng will take confidence from his superior win percentage on all court surfaces.

Alexis Galarneau v Sam Riffice

The ATP 227th ranked Alexis Galarneau will fancy his chances against the 650th-ranked Sam Riffice, who, despite winning four games on the bounce, lacks the experience of playing at the highest level of professional tennis.

Galarneau has a win probability of 59% going into this match and will look to take the impressive form he showed when defeating the upcoming Paul Jubb in three sets a week ago onto the court against Riffice and into the semi-final.

It would be the second semi-final of the month for Galarneau, who made it to the Tiburon Challenger semi-final this week, and despite not making it through, he showed great spirit and fight throughout. It surely won’t be long before the Canadian makes it to the final stages of a tournament and to his first ATP Challenger title. He is the firm favourite to win here at 1.56, and unless he hits a bad patch of form, there is a solid chance he will be playing in another semi-final.

His adversary Sam Riffice is climbing the ranks of the game and is clearly too good for the opponents he has been coming up against in his recent matches. He has won 15 out of his last 19 games and will definitely be bringing some momentum with him into this match.

Playing through qualification to enter this tournament, Riffice was not given much chance of success before the first ball was hit, but he has proved he is cut out for the next level of tennis, and even with the strong odds of his opponent, it isn’t out of the equation that we could see an impressive upset.

Riffice has fought through two three-set matches to get to the quarter-final, so he will be full of belief that he can progress. At 2.34 to win, Riffice is well worth backing and could be the surprise package at the Fairfield Challenger.

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