Cressy, Shelton, Tiafoe nominated for 2022 ATP awards
Three Americans have been rewarded for their performance on the ATP Tour in 2022 with nomination for year-end honors. Maxime Cressy (Most Improved Player of the Year), Ben Shelton (Newcomer of the Year) and Frances Tiafoe (Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award) were all included in the shortlists released by the ATP on Wednesday.
In addition, former American touring pro Michael Russell, the coach of Taylor Fritz, was rewarded for his charge's career-best season year-end Top 10 finish with nomination for Coach of the Year. Fritz won three titles in 2022, including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells; qualfied for the year-end Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, Italy; and rose in the rankings from No. 23 to a year-end position of No. 9.
The oldest of the four nominees for Most Improved Player of the Year alongside world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz; British 20-year-old Jack Draper; and Danish teenager Holger Rune, Cressy improved nearly 100 spots in the ATP rankings in 2022.
The Paris-born American started 2022, his third full season as a pro after a four-year collegiate career at UCLA, ranked No. 112 in the world, but soon, he made the serve-and-volley playing style cool again.
As a qualifier at the Melbourne Summer Set 2 in January, he upset Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimitrov to reach his first ATP singles final, and gave Rafael Nadal all he could handle in the title match. Newly-minted in the Top 100, he went on to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open by beating John Isner, among others, and took a set off eventual finalist Daniil Medvedev in a tense last-16 encounter.
Cressy later broke the Top 50 by finishing as runner-up to Taylor Fritz in an all-American Eastbourne final, and upset Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round of Wimbledon. But his big move came in the summer: In July, he reached his third career ATP singles final at the Infosys Hall of Fame Open, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., and won his first career title by virtue of an epic comeback against Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik in the final from 6-2, 3-0 down.
Read more at usta.com: Americans Cressy, Blumberg and Johnson sweep Newport
While Cressy made his move in the first half of the year, Shelton was the revelation of the season's second half after he won the NCAA Division I singles title for the University of Florida in May.
He soared up the ATP rankings in the season's last seven months thanks to a 35-8 record in USTA Pro Circuit events, and a third-round run at the Western & Southern Open, where he upset Lorenzo Sonego and Casper Ruud. He turned professional prior to the US Open.
Shelton ended the season by reaching four USTA Pro Circuit finals in six tournaments, and won three trophies in as many weeks in November. He started 2022 at No. 573 in the ATP rankings, but ended it at No. 97.
Finishing his season on a 15-match winning streak, Shelton's efforts assured him of a spot in the Australian Open main draw.
Nominated for the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the second straight year in 2022, Tiafoe hopes to be the first American to win the award and snap fellow nominee Rafael Nadal's four-year reign as the winner. Roger Federer won the award a record 13 times.
In 2020, Tiafoe won the ATP's Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for his off-court impact.
Nominees for Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year and the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award were selected by a vote of International Tennis Writers' Association (ITWA) members. Coach of the Year nominees were selected through voting by ATP coaches.
Winners of Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award will be determined by a vote of their fellow ATP players. Coach of the Year will also be decided by their peers.
Winners of the year-end awards, including the year's fan-favorite player and doubles team, will be announced by the ATP during the week of Dec. 12. Fans can vote for their favorite singles player and doubles team through Friday, Dec. 2.
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