"Playing Nadal was beyond belief; I think that was one reason I wasn’t able to beat him" - Maxime Cressy on playing Rafael Nadal in Melbourne final

Bhargav
Maxime Cressy has spoken about playing Rafael Nadal
Maxime Cressy has spoken about playing Rafael Nadal

Maxime Cressy has opened up on his experience of playing against Rafael Nadal, saying it was 'beyond belief.' The American was too awe-struck, as he fell to Nadal in his first career singles final in the Melbourne Summer Set earlier this year.

Six months later, Cressy came good in his third singles final in Newport, recovering from a set and a break down to beat Alexander Bublik in a third-set tiebreak on Sunday. A few weeks earlier, the American had fallen to compatriot Taylor Fritz in the Eastbourne final just before Wimbledon.

Following his Newport triumph, Cressy has reminisced about his experience of playing Nadal, who beat the American in straight sets in the Melbourne final. The World No. 33 fared better in his second singles final at Eastbourne, falling to Fritz in a third-set tiebreak. Cressy told ATPTour.com:

"Those matches were also nerve-wracking, just like today. Playing Nadal was beyond belief; it was more like, ‘Is it actually happening?’ I think that was one reason I wasn’t able to beat him. Against Fritz, it was close margins as well."

Against Nadal, Cressy played a good first set, losing in a tiebreak, before running out of steam in the second.


"The first title is definitely the most difficult one" - Maxime Cressy after winning in Newport

Maxime Cressy on Day Two: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022
Maxime Cressy on Day Two: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022

Maxime Cressy is understandably over the moon, having won his first ATP singles title on Sunday. After falling short in his first two finals, Cressy's maiden title was a distant dream when he trailed Bublik 6-2, 3-0 in the Newport title match.

To his credit, though, the 25-year-old recouped both breaks as he reeled off six games to level proceedings. Cressy then squandered break points in a competitive third set. He also survived a fall before triumphing 7-5 in the ensuing tiebreak to register the biggest victory of his young career.

The American now knows he won't be as nervous in his next final.

"As everyone says, the third time is the charm," said Cressy after his win. "It’s a big step forward for me, because I don’t think I’m going to be as nervous for the next finals that may come. The first title is definitely the most difficult one."

Following his Newport triumph, Cressy is now up to a career-best 33rd in the ATP rankings and is almost guaranteed to be seeded at the US Open next month.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman
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