Maxim Cressy‘s bid for a first ATP Tour title appeared halfway through the championship game in Infosys Hall of Fame opens in Newport on Sunday, but the 25-year-old American managed one of the comebacks of the season to secure his first tour-level crown.
The 25-year-old American came from a 2-6, 0-3 deficit Alexander Bulik on the Rhode Island turf to cap an impressive week in which he also beat compatriots Mitchell Krueger, Steve Johnson and John Isner on the way to the title at the ATP 250 event.
After not ranked in the top 150 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings just 12 months ago, Cressy’s run at Newport on Monday propelled him to a career high at No. 33. Following his remarkable Rhode Island triumph, ATPTour.com spoke to the American when as he reflected on the latest milestone in his rapid rise.
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What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
I think it’s the most incredible feeling I’ve had in my entire life. It’s hard to describe. I’ve been looking forward to this first title for a long time.
How do your experiences in previous endgames compare Rafael Nadal and TaylorFritz Are you preparing for this game?
These matches were also nerve-wracking, just like today! Playing Nadal was incredible, it was more like, ‘Is it actually happening?’ I think that was one of the reasons I couldn’t beat him. It was also close against Fritz.
As everyone says, the third time is the charm. It’s a big step forward for me because I don’t think I’ll be that nervous before the next finals. The first title is definitely the most difficult.
You have previously disclosed that your family supports you in some of your extrajudicial matters. Your mom is your manager and your brother helps build your social media presence. What does it mean to share your tennis journey with your family?
My mother has helped me with some extra-judicial things, finances or talking to brands because I don’t have an agent yet. I’m actually watching this, but I’m still arguing in my mind. My brother also helped me with social media because I don’t want to deal with it!
My family has been an integral part of my success. They’ve always been there for me, so I think they’re very important to my career.
How did your international upbringing, growing up in France before coming to the US to attend college at UCLA, shape you as a person?
Being a citizen of both worlds is very special and has shaped me. I’ve become so much more independent by going to the States on my own. I had faith that I could live the American Dream, that my life could be much better because my tennis was suffering at the time. I thought going to the States might give me a fresh start, and it did.
Getting recruited to UCLA was the most incredible thing that happened to me, and as soon as that happened, my desire went through the roof. In the beginning I had no professional ambitions, but that quickly changed when I became an integral part of the team. When I started my junior year, I started thinking about going pro and being with players Mackenzie McDonald and Marco Giron in the team also helped these professional ambitions.
This win will put you just outside the top 30 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, but you said very bravely that your goal is number 1. Have you set a timeline for this goal?
Regardless of the ups and downs, my ranking has just skyrocketed really fast over the past two years. Considering all the failures I’ve had, it was kind of crazy because I definitely feel like I’ve fallen a lot. But I got back up quickly, never gave up and remained steadfast. Being just outside the top 30 so quickly is a big indication [to me] that I have what it takes to be number 1 in the world. I don’t think that belief will ever change.
My dream is to make serve and volley great again and inspire many people to play this style of play. I’ve seen other players do it a lot more, like Rafa [Nadal]. If I can influence the tennis world and make serve and volley a style of play that people want to enjoy and play, it will be big.