Americans Cressy, Blumberg and Johnson sweep Newport singles and doubles titles
Why have one American champion when you can have three? Maxime Cressy and the doubles team of William Blumberg and Steve Johnson concluded the Infosys Hall of Fame Open in style on Sunday by sweeping the singles and doubles titles.
The day began with fourth-seeded Blumberg and Johnson defeating No. 1 seeds Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo, 6–4, 7–5, for their first ATP doubles title as a pair. It's the second of both men's careers; Blumberg won his first career title on Newport's grass 12 months ago with Jack Sock, while Johnson's first doubles title came in 2018 on clay in Geneva with Sam Querrey. The 32-year-old Johnson now boasts six career ATP titles across singles and doubles, and was also the singles winner in Newport four years ago.
"I've loved it every single time I've come here, the city, the courts, the people, everybody who puts on this event is first-class," Johnson said. "There's a lot of history here at the Hall of Fame, and I'm just really excited to be here at the end. I'd love to thank Will for giving me a last-minute call to play doubles here. I was a bit nervous coming in with him winning last year, and some big shoes to fill with Jack, but we got it rolling in a windy day on Tuesday and just kept rolling."
Greenwich, Conn. native Blumberg, who played college tennis at the University of North Carolina, remained undefeated in his young career at New England's "home" tournament. Last year's Hall of Fame Open was the 24-year-old's second career ATP tournament—he and Spencer Papa were a wild card entry to the 2017 US Open—and he came into that event unranked. A year later, he's ranked just outside the Top 100 in doubles in his first full season after turning professional.
In victory, the former Tar Heel noted just how blessed he felt to be playing in front of his own cheering section.
"Stevie, it was a blast playing golf, tennis, everything. Great match today, but an even better person, so it just makes it even more fun playing," Blumberg said. "My family, parents, grandparents—my girlfriend took a 6 a.m. flight, 4 a.m. wake-up ... just being able to play with my family and friends and everyone here is a memory I'll remember forever."
Cressy later pulled off one of the most impressive comebacks of the season to complete the sweep. The fourth-seeded Cressy trailed third-seeded Kazakh Alexander Bublik 6-2, 3-0, and break points for 4-0, before he turned the match around. In 2 hours and 23 minutes, the 25-year-old walked away with his first ATP singles title, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).
Cressy was previously runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 in January, and to compatriot Taylor Fritz at the Rothesay International Eastbourne in June. This week in Newport, he came from a set down to beat Johnson in the quarterfinals, and also beat four-time champion and No. 2 seed John Isner in three sets in the semifinals.
Player feature: Maxime Cressy manifesting a spot at the top of men's tennis
Road to the Championship - Maxime Cressy
R2: def. (Q) Mitchell Krueger (USA) - 6-3, 6-4
QF: def. Steve Johnson (USA) - 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4
SF: def. (2) John Isner (USA) - 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
F: def. (3) Alexander Bublik (KAZ) - 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3)
Late in the third set, Cressy also held serve from 0-30 down at 5-5, and bounced back quickly from an injury scare; with Bublik serving at 30-30 in the 12th game, Cressy took an awkward fall in the forecourt and landed hard on his knee.
"It's an incredible feeling to win my first title. I never thought I would win my first title this way ... I got lucky and I stuck to it," Cressy said.
"It's an incredibly special tournament. I played my first ATP tournament here. There were a lot of ups and downs today, but I'm very proud of myself for fighting through it."
Entering Newport ranked No. 41, Cressy will rise to No. 33 in next week's rankings, one spot out of seeded position for the US Open. He'll be the fifth-highest ranked American behind Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Isner and Frances Tiafoe.