Cressy the champion in Newport

Another first-time champion on the ATP Tour

Maxime Cressy Maxime Cressy of the U.S. celebrates winning his semi final match against Britain’s Jack Draper (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Maxime Cressy became the ninth first-time champion on the ATP Tour so far this year, beating Alexander Bublik in the Newport Hall of Fame Open 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

And in his third ATP Tour final, Cressy admitted it was a special venue for the milestone.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win my first title, I never thought I would win it this way,” he said. “I played my first ATP tournament here, and it’s always an incredible atmosphere. There were a lot of ups and downs today but I’m very proud of myself for fighting through it.”

This was the first time the two had met on tour, but an observer could have guessed they would be evenly matched. Both are 25 years old; and they sit side by side in the ATP rankings, with Bublik at world No 42 going into the tournament, one below his American opponent.

Bublik started the stronger, winning nine of the first 11 games, and he must have thought the finish line was in his sights.

But Cressy turned the second set around. He was 3-0 and break points down, but he held and proceeded to break twice en route to levelling up and forcing a decider.

Bublik was stunned, and was evidently struggling with countering the serve-and-volley tactics. Despite Cressy suffering a late fall, he was buoyed by the crowd’s support, and held on to take the third set in a breaker.

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