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Tsitsipas Passes Ritschard Test

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2022

Tsitsipas Passes Ritschard Test

Fourth seed to face Thompson in second round

Stefanos Tsitsipas struggled to find his groove for much of his match against Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard at Wimbledon on Tuesday, but the fourth seed’s resilience was enough to complete a 7-6(1), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 first-round victory at the grass-court major.

The World No. 5 appeared to have taken control of an engrossing encounter after opening up a two-sets-to-love lead on Court 1, but an inspired Ritschard showed a high-class level to strike back in the third set. Some sublime shotmaking from the Swiss was not enough to overcome Tsitsipas’ consistency, however, as the Greek held his nerve to secure the win.

“Obviously it is great to be back [at Wimbledon],” said Tsitsipas in his on-court interview. “I have to congratulate Alexander for an incredible performance. I am sure we are going to see a lot of him.”

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Even when he was on top, Tsitsipas had to stay alert in his first tour-level meeting with the World No. 188. Ritschard was particularly proficient at the net throughout the three-hour, 31-minute encounter, but Tsitsipas’ extra firepower on return proved decisive. The nine-time tour-level titlist broke the Swiss six times on his way to a Tour-leading 41st victory of the year.

The win comes just three days after Tsitsipas clinched his maiden grass-court title at the Mallorca Championships in Spain. He will hope to maintain his good run in the second round against Jordan Thompson, as he bids to reach the third round at SW19 for the second time.

“Absolutely [I feel confident],” said Tsitsipas. “Mallorca was a great tournament. The conditions there are a little bit different, much more hot and humid there. Playing on these courts, it’s like watery smooth. It doesn’t get any better.”

Tsitsipas lacked rhythm early on Court 1, where Ritschard raced ahead with a combination of clean baseline hitting and well-executed serve-and-volley tactics. Even trailing by a double break at 1-4, however, the Greek showed no sign of panic. He roared back with four consecutive games, going on to dominate the tie-break as his firepower from deep overwhelmed his opponent.

The disappointment of losing the opener appeared to take the sting out of the Ritschard game as Tsitsipas broke twice to secure the second set, but the 28-year-old Swiss was resurgent in the third. He showed some delicate touches at the net to earn a crucial break in the 11th game, and when he broke Tsitsipas again in the opening game of the fourth set the crowd sensed a comeback.

Tsitsipas immediately reclaimed the break to nullify that momentum, however, and he capitalised on two double faults from Ritschard in the 10th game to improve his match record at Wimbledon to 4-4.

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Opportunistic Nick: Kyrgios Clutch In Thrillng Five-Set Wimbledon Win

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2022

Opportunistic Nick: Kyrgios Clutch In Thrillng Five-Set Wimbledon Win

Aussie earns his 10th five-set win

Nick Kyrgios did not earn many opportunities on Tuesday in his gruelling first-round match at Wimbledon. But when the Australian did, he took full advantage.

Kyrgios battled past home favourite Paul Jubb 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-5 to reach the second round at The Championships, converting five of his six break points. The No. 40 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings will next play 26th seed Filip Krajinovic or #NextGenATP Czech Jiri Lehecka.

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The 27-year-old is now 10-3 in five-set matches, including 5-0 at Wimbledon. He has not lost a first-round clash this season (8-0). Kyrgios let slip an opportunity to serve for the match at 5-3 in the deciding set, but quickly rebounded to clinch his victory after three hours and five minutes behind 30 aces and 67 winners overall.

Kyrgios, who made the quarter-finals at the All England Club as a 19-year-old, arrived at the third major of the season with plenty of matches after advancing to the semi-finals in Stuttgart in Halle. But the Australian warned he would need to maintain that form against Jubb, a wild card.

“If you look at the results I’ve had the last couple weeks, if I just stick to my guns, the results say I should win pretty easy,” Kyrgios said. “I know it’s not going to be the case. I’ve got to be pretty focussed.”

That was prophetic, as World No. 219, the 2019 NCAA singles champion, played well. Throughout the match, the Briton showed no fear of the big moment, putting gutsy shotmaking on display, taking it to Kyrgios when he had the opportunity. Especially towards the end of the fourth set, Jubb took control with his forehand, crushing key forehands down the line to force a decider and frustrate his opponent.

As is the case with most Kyrgios matches, the encounter drew plenty of fans, with players watching from a nearby perch as well. Daniel Evans, Alexander Bublik and Kyle Edmund were among those who took a look at the match, especially as it grew tighter and therefore more tense.

But Kyrgios’ big serve helped keep the pressure off him, which proved pivotal. And when he earned opportunities, he made the most of them. At 3-2 in the decider, the six-time ATP Tour titlist hit a perfect crosscourt backhand passing shot to position himself for the critical break. On the next point, Jubb missed a backhand volley, and that seemed it would be a fatal mistake.

That was not the case, though. With the full support of the crowd Jubb, who converted just two of his 13 break points, broke back. Kyrgios was frustrated, but he remained calm enough to hold on. After letting slip his first match point by missing a backhand return long, he made sure to put his next return in play, and Jubb missed a first-ball forehand.

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Max Disruption: Cressy's Undying Commitment To Serve & Volley

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2022

Max Disruption: Cressy’s Undying Commitment To Serve & Volley

American faces Felix on Tuesday at Wimbledon

Maxime Cressy vividly remembers playing tennis on Sundays as a boy in France with his brothers Jonathan and Mathieu. When they were ready to leave the club, Maxime wanted to continue playing.

“I would always tell them, ‘One more ball, one more ball.’ That one more ball would turn out to be two more hours of playing tennis,” Cressy told “Over time they got sick of tennis because of me, because I was always demanding their time. With my brothers I was very competitive and wanted to be better than them. They grew tired of it!”

Jonathan and Mathieu are certainly proud of what their brother has become: one of the most dangerous players on the ATP Tour. On Tuesday, he will try to prove that against sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round of Wimbledon.

The American is a scary foe, especially on grass, because of his throwback serve-and-volley game. On his day, the 6’6” righty takes the racquet out of his opponents’ hands. There is little they can do about a perfectly placed serve and a crisp volley into the open court. But if you ask Cressy what he wants fans to remember him for, it is not his unique game.

“I would want people to know me for my character, that I have resiliency. When things become difficult, I never give up. I always find a way,” Cressy said. “I’m the kind of person that will do anything in his power to find a solution towards where I want to be.”

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Cressy’s game speaks for itself. It’s in your face every point. The 25-year-old is going to come at you. What will you do to counter it? Although that is the product of countless hours of practice and fine-tuning, it is more so the result of Cressy’s mindset.

“[It] is more a matter of mindset than the serve and volley in itself. I think my serve and volley game would not be as efficient if my mindset was not on point,” Cressy said. “In order for serve and volley to work you have to be very consistent and very resilient in the face of the whole tennis world trying to convince you that it’s not the right way to play tennis. It demands a lot of character.”

Cressy reads notes in a journal during changeovers to stay present and maintain his focus. But it goes far beyond that. When the American was about 16, he began to learn about spirituality.

His father’s friend was a huge fan of Paramahansa Yogonanda, who in 1946 published the book Autobiography of a Yogi. Cressy decided to read it and then began to dig deeper into spirituality, reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now among other books.

“I then started to do a lot of visualisation about the goals I wanted to achieve. Before I didn’t know what I wanted, but with spirituality I started to ask myself what I wanted and then my biggest wish was to make a huge impact on the professional tour. That was my dream,” Cressy said. “I think everyone’s dream is to be No. 1, but I wanted to make that dream a reality.”

It was not always an easy path for Cressy, who spent most of his childhood in France before moving to the United States, where he played college tennis at UCLA, where at one point fellow Top 100 player Mackenzie McDonald was his roommate and Marcos Giron was a volunteer assistant coach. He barely played in his early days on the team.

“I was not the one training on the bigger courts, on Courts 1, 2 or 3. I was more on Courts 5 or 6 at the end playing in the back courts,” Cressy said. “I always had that determination to get to the top part of the lineup. Even though at the beginning I wasn’t considered a top player, I really wanted to get there. The fire within me was always there.

<a href=''>Marcos Giron</a>, <a href=''>Maxime Cressy</a> and <a href=''>Mackenzie McDonald</a>
Cressy poses with Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald, also former UCLA Bruins, earlier this year at Indian Wells.
“I felt like it had to work and that the way would be carved out for me. But the key for me was each time I lost a match or each time I encountered challenges, I always asked myself, ‘Alright, what do I need to do improve? What do I need to do in order to get to the next level?’”

Cressy eventually climbed to the top spot in his team’s lineup and won the NCAA Doubles Championship in 2019. But ascending the Pepperstone ATP Rankings is not easy.

This time last year, Cressy was World No. 153. Now he is at a career-high World No. 45 after reaching his second ATP Tour final last week in Eastbourne. In January at an ATP 250 in Melbourne, the American made his maiden championship match and tested Rafael Nadal in a tight two-set final. No player inside the Top 50 has soared more spots this year than Cressy.

When the Paris native turned professional, his goal was to compete in ATP Tour events as soon as possible. Now, he admitted his goals are “getting much more ambitious”. But the process remains the same.

Cressy is a big believer in routines and repetition. For example, he reads a lot. Instead of trying different genres or authors, the American reads the same book — Ask and It Is Given by Abraham Hicks — every day in order to follow one voice and not get pulled in different directions by different writers’ voices.

One passage in the book that sticks out features an analogy about trees. Cressy paraphrased it: “Our limiting beliefs are the trees on our way. The stronger our desire, the more ambitious we are, the higher the speed of our car going on the road. The limiting beliefs are trees on the road and when you encounter a lot of resistance, a lot of problems, that’s when you’re running into trees.

“Life is about figuring out how to get the trees out of the way and keep going instead of slowing down the vehicle so that the crash with the trees is not as powerful. The lesson is to find a way to get rid of the trees and the limiting beliefs that are stopping us from moving forward.”

According to Cressy, one of those limiting beliefs is that serve and volley is not going to be as efficient in today’s game. He believes it is not true. The same way as a boy he thought he would eventually defeat his brothers and later that he would climb his college team’s lineup, Cressy will do everything in his power to prove it, no matter how many hurdles he faces.

“I think to have the belief and to actually live it is different,” Cressy said. “But to actually live it is an incredible experience, to really see that it actually disrupts the game of the best players in the world is amazing.”

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