Seven of the eight men scheduled to play singles on Monday are seeded. Maxime Cressy holds the #70 ranking in the world.
Seven of the eight have over $3 million in career earnings, Maxime Cressy’s career earnings are less than $1 million.
Seven of the eight predominantly play from the baseline. By himself, Cressy is resurrecting the serve and volley.
One of these men is not like the others. That does not mean he doesn’t belong.
Still, the second week of the Australian Open is upon us, and Cressy earned a spot in the Round of 16 where he will face world #2 Daniil Medvedev, the highest ranked player in the tournament.
Maxime Cressy at the 2022 Australian Open
Coming Out Party
Cressy enters the Round of 16 with a total of 15 total ATP Tour-level match wins. The 24-year-old did not win his first tour level match until 2020. He followed up that one win season with five total wins in 2021.
With 2022 not yet four weeks old, Cressy already surpassed his 2021 win total in three events. Including this tournament, he’s won nine tour level matches in 2022 alone.
In Melbourne’s tune up tournament, the American survived two rounds of qualifying before entering the main draw. In the actual tournament, he knocked off four players including top 30 players Grigor Dimitrov and Reilly Opelka. After winning tiebreakers to end each of those matches, Cressy faced superstar Rafael Nadal in the final. He pushed Nadal to a tiebreaker in the first set before losing his first tour level final in two sets. With that run, he let the world know he did not travel to Australia to go quietly.
Already Doubled Grand Slam Output
While only two of Monday’s male singles competitors are older than Cressy, he entered the first Grand Slam of the year with minimal experience. Before 2022, Cressy played in three Grand Slam main draws and won a total of three matches. Only one of the three wins came in Melbourne, in 2021. When he meets Medvedev in Round 4, he will have three 2022 wins in his pocket. By far, Cressy has had the best professional tournament of his life.
Living at the Net
More surprising than the respectable run Cressy has put together is his style. On his path to the fourth round, the American has been reviving the serve and volley. In a sport currently dominated by baseliners, Cressy has found great success at the net. In his first round match against world #25 John Isner, Cressy played an incredible 128 points at the net. In his three wins, he’s attacked the net 299 times, winning 216 of the points. In contrast, Medvedev has played only 78 total net points in his three matches.
Cressy’s success at the 2022 Australian Open has caused heads to turn and opened discussion of the serve and volley game. While not old, finding this success for the first time at age 24 makes a great story. However, now it is Week 2 at a Grand Slam. It is time to separate the great from the good. Does Cressy’s style and momentum lead to an stunning upset in Melbourne? Probably not, but it will be fun to watch.
Main Photo from Getty.