Take Five: Paul makes Acapulco final, Cressy wins Dubai doubles title
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. Three Americans played tour-level finals this week, with Tommy Paul finishing as singles runner-up in Acapulco, Maxime Cressy winning the doubles title in Dubai and Nicole Melichar-Martinez reaching the doubles final in Austin.
Paul advances to second final with epic win vs. Fritz
The United States was guaranteed a singles finalist at the ATP 500 in Acapulco, Mexico, before the quarterfinals were played. With four Americans through to that stage in the draw's top half—Tommy Paul, Mackenzie McDonald, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe—it was just a matter of who would represent the Stars & Stripes in the title match.
Paul defeated McDonald and new World No. 5 Fritz beat Tiafoe to set up an epic semifinal that became the second-longest match in the tournament's 30-year history. After three hours, 25 minutes, Paul advanced to his second ATP Tour final with a 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2) victory. (He won the 2021 Stockholm ATP 250 trophy in his previous title match.)
"I couldn't be happier," the Australian Open semi-finalist said after securing the win on his fourth match point. "Obviously looking forward to making the body feel a little better tomorrow. The goal for this year was to get the ranking up and get more trophies."
The 25-year-old Paul also credited Fritz for his effort in the contest: "You have to [dig deep]. It's never going to be easy against Fritz, he's unreal," said the seventh seed. "He doesn't give you any points throughout the whole match, you feel like you have to work for everything."
While Paul fell just short of the title with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 defeat to Aussie Alex de Minaur, his final run lifted him back into the Top 20 at world No. 19, one spot off his career high achieved in February.
Cressy wins Dubai doubles with France's Martin
One month after reaching the singles final in Montpellier, France, Maxime Cressy became an ATP doubles champion for the first time in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Paris-born American teamed with Frenchmen Fabrice Martin to win his first ATP Tour doubles crown. Cressy and Martin lost just one set in their trophy run and knocked off two seeds in their for wins on the week.
They claimed the title with a 7-6(2), 6-4 win against third seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, and also knocked off fourth seeds Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski in the opening round.
Melichar-Martinez reaches Austin final with Aussie Perez
Twelve-time WTA doubles champion Nicole Melichar-Martinez nearly added trophy No. 13 to her resume on Sunday. Pairing with Australia's Ellen Perez on home soil in Austin, Texas, the 29-year-old reached the final at the WTA 250 but was turned back in Sunday's title match.
Top seeds Melichar-Martinez and Perez suffered a narrow defeat to second seeds Aldila Sutjiadi and Erin Routliffe, 6-3, 3-6, [10-8].
The 29-year-old Melichar-Martinez, who has played six of her seven doubles events with Perez this season, has held steady at world No. 17 since the pair reached the Australian Open second round in January.
Collins makes deepest run of 2023; Stearns, Volynets also impress
Danielle Collins used a pair of comeback wins to reach her first semifinal of the 2023 WTA season. The fourth seed in Austin, Collins beat Magdalena Frech and Anna Kalinskaya from a set down either side of a straight-sets win against fellow American Caty McNally.
The 29-year-old's run came to an end in the semis against Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk, who went on to win her first career title.
It was also a good week in Austin for the unseeded pair of Peyton Stearns and Katie Volynets. Stearns, playing in the shadow of the University of Texas, where she was an NCAA champion, reached the quarterfinals as a wild card, while Volynets had one of the comebacks of the season so far en route to her first WTA semifinal. She trailed No. 3 seed Anastasia Potapova in the third set of her Round 2 match, 5-0 and match point, before coming all the way back for a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 win.
Kovacevic wins Waco title on USTA Pro Circuit
Aleksandar Kovacevic won his second ATP Challenger Tour title of the season on Sunday in Waco, Texas. The 24-year-old, who also lifted the trophy in Cleveland last month, lost just one set in his Texas run. Seeded third in Waco, defeated France's Alexandre Muller 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the final.
Also on the USTA Pro Circuit, former Duke star Maria Mateas reached the W25 final in Spring, Texas. She went one better in the doubles event, winning the title with fellow American Clervie Ngounoue.
Rounding out the American Pro Circuit champs, Francesca Di Lorenzo and Christina Rosca claimed the doubles crown at the W60 in Arcadia, Calif.