Maxime Cressy wins inaugural ATP title on the Newport grass courts at the Hall of Fame Open

NEWPORT, RI – Fourth place American Maxim Cressy rallied to win his first career ATP Tour title, beating the No. 3 Alexander Bulik of Kazakhstan 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Open.

After defeating the four-time Newport champion John Isner In the semi-final a day earlier, 25-year-old Cressy overcame a difficult start in which he only caught 42% of his first serves in the opening set. It was his third ATP final in his career.

The tournament – the only one played on grass courts in North America – will be held in conjunction with induction ceremonies into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Australian great Lleyton Hewitt41, part of the 2021 vintage, was anchored in a side plaza on Saturday night.

Hewitt was unable to attend last year’s ceremony due to travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in the history of the hall, no candidates were chosen for 2022. They’ve been around since 1955.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win my first title,” said Cressy, who injured his left knee and was sidelined before the end of the third set.

The 6-foot-6 Cressy sped to the sidelines and was trying to come back when he stumbled to the ground and rolled over. He got up, bent his knee and paced near his chair for a while before a trainer was called.

During the delay, with Cressy standing behind the chair umpire, Bublik, who was standing at a baseline, yelled, “Stop or go on. Make a decision.”

There were some boos from the crowd who cheered louder and louder as Cressy made his comeback; Eventually we break into a chant of “Let’s go Cressy!”

“He assured me it wasn’t a common problem or anything like that. He said I could still play and I trusted him,” Cressy said of the visit. “I went along and didn’t even think about it in the tie-break.”

Bublik, 25, was looking for his second ATP title after conquering Montpellier this year. He finished second at Newport in 2019.

Hall CEO Todd Martin said over a microphone during the post-game ceremony to Bublik, “Come back. The third time will be absolutely magical.”

Bublik, sitting in his chair, shook his head. He fell back to 1-5 in the ATP Finals.

Trailing 3-0 in the second set in glorious sunshine and temperatures in the high 70s, Cressy held serve before breaking twice in the next three games.

In the tiebreak there were three breaks on the first three points. Cressy then had an ace to take a 6-3 lead.

At the final point, Bublik, who started the week ranked 42 in the world, made a double fault and sent his final serve long. Cressy solemnly raised both arms.

“Well, there’s not much to say,” Bublik told the crowd. “I’m very upset with the result and I want to congratulate Max on his first title.”

Cressy came in 41st after Newport.

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