Pro Media & News

Take Five: Cressy, Isner reach ATP singles finals

Arthur Kapetanakis | February 13, 2023


Welcome to Take Five, a weekly series on USTA.com recapping five of the biggest stories from American tennis over the last week on the professional tennis circuit. In a successful week for American men, U.S. players featured in four ATP Tour finals on Sunday across singles and doubles. On the women's side, Ashlyn Krueger and Robin Montgomery claimed the doubles title at the USTA Pro Circuit W60 event in Orlando.

 

Cressy reaches singles, doubles finals in Montpellier

Paris-born American Maxime Cressy had a week to remember in France. The 25-year-old defeated Borna Coric and Holger Rune to reach the singles final in Montpellier, using a thrilling 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-6(4) win against world No. 9 Rune to book his place in Sunday's title match.

 

The American did not face a break point in that semifinal, and he did not drop serve on the week until his 7-6(3), 6-3 defeat to Jannik Sinner in the final.

Cressy moved back into the ATP's Top 50 at No. 40 with his final run, having faced three Top 25 players on the week.

 

“Jannik Sinner is an incredible player like Holger Rune and everyone else in the tournament,” Cressy said ahead of the final. “You have to find your best game every time.”

 

Cressy did that in Montpellier, and though he fell short of his second tour-level title, he has now reached three finals in the past 13 months, including his trophy triumph last year in Newport.

 

The 25-year-old also reached his first ATP Tour doubles final in Montpellier alongisde Frenchman Albano Olivetti. After upsetting second seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the quarterfinals, the team fell just short against Dutchmen Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop, 7-6(4), 4-6, 10-6 in Sunday's final.

Jannik Sinner and Maxime Cressy in Montpellier. Photo credit: Sylvain Thomas/AFP via Getty Images.
Isner hits tiebreak milestone, plays 31st final in Dallas

Playing just minutes from his Texas home, John Isner came agonizingly close to his 17th career title only to see China's Wu Yibing save four match points in a 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-6(12) final victory.

 

“It’s a tough one to lose,” said Isner, who dropped just one set in reaching the final. “I don’t know how many match points I had, I’m sure it’s a lot. I swear I thought I won the match a few times. I know he hit one ball… It had to be [on] the back sixteenth of the line on one of the points… Sports can be brutal. I had match point in the second set too."

John Isner. Photo credit: Kelly Defina/Getty Images.

While Wu made history by becoming the first Chinese man to win an ATP Tour title in the Open era, Isner also hit a historic milestone in Dallas.

 

In his 7-6(8), 7-5 win against Emilio Gomez in the quarters, Isner won his 500th career tiebreak, extending his own record and becoming the first man to reach the 500 mark.

 

Isner is now 502-321 in tiebreaks on the ATP Tour. Roger Federer is second on the all-time tiebreak wins list with a 466-247 record. Americans Pete Sampas (328-194) and Andy Roddick (303-185) are also on the Top 10 in wins.

 

"It just comes with a lot of experience, being in that situation," Isner said of his success in breakers.

"I would love to win matches like Novak [Djokovic] does, 6-,1 6-0, but it's just not my style," he said with a smile. "A lot of times I live by the sword, like I have this week, and a lot of times I die by the sword. I take the good with the bad."

 

Isner also pledged to donate $100 to the Isner Family Foundation for each ace he hit at the ATP 250 event. His 138 aces raised $13,800 for needy children in the Dallas area.

 

Krueger & Montgomery win Orlando Pro Circuit doubles title

Youth was served at the USTA Pro Circuit W60 event in Orlando, where 18-year-olds Ashlyn Krueger and Robin Montgomery teamed to win the doubles title.

 

The former Orange Bowl singles champions (Montgomery in 2019, Krueger in 2020) were seeded fourth at the event and did not drop a set in four wins. They knocked off top seeds Anna Sinclair Rogers and Olivia Tjandramulia 6-3, 6-2 in the semis before beating second-seeded Dutchwomen Arianne Harono and Eva Vedder 7-5, 6-1 in Saturday's final.

 

Krueger also reached the singles semifinals at the event, while Americans Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide and Sachia Vickery advanced to the quarters.

 

At the WTA level, Shelby Rogers was a quarterfinalist at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, a 500-level tournament.

 

Withrow & Lammons reach Dallas doubles final

Jackson Withrow and Nathaniel Lammons lived up to their billing as the second seeds at the Dallas Open, dropping just one set as they progressed to the final. 

 

The Americans made a fast start against top seeds Jamie Murray and Michael Venus in Sunday's final but ultimately dropped a 1-6, 7-6(4), 10-7 decision. Both Withrow and Lammons were seeking their third ATP title. They have one previous trophy as a team, won last year in San Diego.

 

New career-high rankings for Fritz, Paul, Wolf

Behind his run to the Dallas singles semifinals, Taylor Fritz moved up one place to No. 7 in the ATP rankings, a new career best. J.J. Wolf, another Dallas semifinalist, hit a new high of No. 39 two weeks after his breakout run to the Australian Open fourth round.

 

Aussie Open semifinalist Tommy Paul also moved up in the rankings despite not competing on the week. The 25-year-old New Jersey native now sits at a career high of world No. 18, joining Fritz and No. 15 Frances Tiafoe in the Top 20.

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