Maxime Cressy serves in Newport SF, Jason Kubler saves MP to stun Felix Auger-Aliassime |  ATP tour

Maxime Cressy serves in Newport SF, Jason Kubler saves MP to stun Felix Auger-Aliassime | ATP circuit

Maxime Cressy remains perfect on serve through two matches at the Infosys Hall of Fame Open. After not facing a break point in his first victory over Mitchell Krueger, the fourth seed saved three break points on Thursday against Steve Johnson in the quarter-finals.

In a 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 win, Cressy turned the game around with a key three-game streak that lasted the final two sets. After capitalizing on his first break opportunities at the end of the second, he saved a break point by serving the set. Cressy broke again to start the decider and did not face a break point in the final set.

“It was actually a really tough first set, a lot of nerves. Playing on center court is amazing,” Cressy said during his on-court interview. “[Johnson] is a great player. He was extremely focused and precise on the serve in the first set. I had to stay focused on my serve, which I could control, and I really managed to do that, especially from the second set.”

Cressy handled a nervous moment as he served the game after two back-to-back double faults turned two match points at 40/15 into two. But he remained aggressive on the next two points, reaching the net behind a pair of second serves to advance to his third semi-final of the 2022 season.

“There’s never better training than games,” Cressy said of handling the pressure against the 2018 Newport champion. “I guess my secret would be to play a lot of tournaments and a lot of games. I’m getting used to playing these difficult moments, but it was extremely stressful for me today.”

Cressy, who reached the finals in Melbourne and Eastbourne this season, moved up to 38th in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings by reaching the semi-finals. He is currently at a career-high No. 41 in Pepperstone’s ATP rankings, a year after entering Newport as world No. 151 last season when he reached the quarter-finals.

After that match, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jason Kubler returned to the stadium pitch to complete their second-round match, which was suspended due to poor light on Wednesday night, with Kubler set to serve at 5- 6 in the deciding set.

<a href=Jason Kubler” />
Jason Kubler advances to his first quarter-final at the tour level. Photo Credit: Kate Whitney Lucey/International Tennis Hall of Fame

After saving a match point on serve, Kubler came from 1/3 down in the tie-break to clinch a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory in his opener against a Top 10. opponent.

“To be honest, I was quite nervous,” the 29-year-old said after the game. “Fortunately, in the last few months I’ve done so much work on my serve. I was thinking about everything I’ve done in the last few months and that’s what gave me some confidence.

“Just very lucky to be in this position. Today could have gone either way…Lucky it went my way today, but I’m just glad I persevered and doing my best all this time.”

Auger-Aliassime’s match point came with Kubler served to stay alive at 5-6, 30/40. In Wednesday night’s 5-5 game, the Canadiens saved a break point to deny Kubler a chance to serve the game.

While the delay resulted in a stressful wait, the Australian had a similar experience at Wimbledon when he faced an overnight delay before securing his second-round win over Denis Novak. He then reached the fourth round at SW19, his best major result.

You might also like: Kubler reaps the rewards after turbulent years

“It’s been really motivating, over the last few months, the work we’ve been doing with the team,” he said of his recent success, which also includes an ATP Challenger Tour title in Little Rock. “It gives me a lot of confidence that we are on the right track. No matter how this morning went, I was still very happy with how the game went. Just confident that the process we are taking going in the right direction.”

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