Maxime Cressy arrived at the BMW Open by American Express on a seven-match losing streak on the ATP Tour, but the American’s serve-and-volley tactics came good against sixth seed Daniel Evans in Munich on Tuesday.
Cressy enjoyed a breakthrough start to 2022 when he reached a maiden tour-level final at the Melbourne Summer Set before falling to Rafael Nadal and made the fourth round of the Australian Open, but the 24-year-old has struggled to back up that run since. Prior to Tuesday the World No. 65 had not won a tour-level match since January, but he showed no signs of a lack of confidence against Evans in damp conditions in Bavaria as he broke the Briton four times on his way to an 81- minute 6-4, 6-4 victory at the ATP 250 event.
“I feel very happy, especially after those two tough months for me,” Cressy said post-match. “I got my confidence back before the tournament. I was very well prepared mentally. I even traveled on my own to really get the confidence back and to be with myself, and it’s great to know that it paid off right away.”
“It was definitely a tough two months, but I’ve lived these moments before and I know how to handle them. The best way to handle them is to get my confidence back through meditation and through my routines… I’m very proud of myself.”
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Play resumed on Tuesday afternoon after rain forced a suspension with Cressy leading 2-0 on Monday evening. A back-and-forth opening set saw four further breaks of serve, but It was the unseeded American who crucially broke to love in the 10th game to forge ahead. Both players were more resolute behind their delivery in the second set, which appeared destined for a tie-break with Evans leading 40/15 on his own serve when 4-5 down. Cressy had other ideas, firing a pair of searing return winners to break and clinch his maiden tour-level victory on clay at the third attempt.
Cressy’s second-round opponent will be World No. 63 Emil Ruusuvuori. The Finn ran out a 6-3, 6-2 winner in the pair’s sole previous tour-level meeting at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March.
“I’m obviously expecting a very tough opponent on the baseline,” Cressy previewed. “He hits his groundies very well on both sides. I’m going to expect a very tough match and just focus on being very efficient on my serve games and what I can control.”
Persistent rain delayed play in Bavaria and only four matches were completed in a reduced schedule, but there was still time for home favorite Oscar Otte to complete a quickfire 6-1, 6-2 win over 18-year-old Serbian Marko Topo. The No. 2-ranked German Otte is making his debut at the Munich event, and his second-round opponent will be third seed Reilly Opelka.
Hugo Gaston also enjoyed a successful first appearance at the Iphitos Tennis Club, but the Frenchman was made to dig deep before completing a 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5 win over Marcos Giron. There were just two breaks of serve across a two-hour, 32-minute clash but both went the way of Gaston, who next faces the winner of the all-Chilean first-round matchup between Alejandro Tabilo and 2019 champion Cristian Garin.
Ilya Ivashka advanced to a second-round meeting with defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili after the World No. 44 defeated Mackenzie McDonald, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. It is the second year in a row the pair has met in Munich, with Ivashka also prevailing against the American in three sets at the second-round stage in 2021.