Tennis-Unseeded Cressy proud after handing Dimitrov straight sets loss

Written by on January 8, 2022

January 8, 2022

(Reuters) – Grigor Dimitrov was knocked out of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 on Saturday as the former world number three was handed a 7-5 7-6 (9) defeat by American Maxime Cressy in the Australian Open warm-up event at Rod Laver Arena.

Big-serving Cressy, currently ranked 112th in the world, hit 17 aces past the Bulgarian and won when he converted his fourth match point to advance to Sunday’s final against either Rafa Nadal or Emil Ruusuvuori.

“I’m very pleased with my tennis,” said Cressy. “Nothing happens by luck.

“I’ve been working really, really hard with my team on and off the court in this preseason and have big goals.

“I’m very proud of myself for staying focused the whole tournament so far. I played incredible today and I’m really proud of myself.”

Unseeded Cressy dominated the opening set but was drawn into a battle in the second set by his more experienced opponent.

Dimitrov’s tenacity came to fore to deny Cressy on match point on three occasions before he eventually succumbed, handing the American an 11-9 win in the tiebreak when he steered his shot wide.

Meanwhile, Simona Halep defeated China’s Zheng Qinwen 6-3 6-2 to set up a meeting with Veronika Kudermetova in Sunday’s final of the women’s Melbourne Summer Set 1.

The former world number one was rarely troubled by the hard-hitting Zheng and will meet Kudermetova in the decider following Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from their semi-final due to an abdominal strain.

“It’s a great feeling to play in the final of the first tournament of the year,” said Halep.

“I think I played well today, we both played really well and it’s nice to see I can start this year pretty well because last year was not that easy.”

In the Melbourne Summer Set 2, Amanda Anisimova advanced to the final with a comprehensive 6-2 6-0 win over number three seed Daria Kasatkina.

The 20-year-old American will take on either Ann Li or Aliaksandra Sasnovich after a dominant display against the Russian.

“I had a slow start yesterday (in the quarter-finals) and me my and team talked about it a little bit because I don’t want that happening again,” said Asinimova.

“So we just went out in the warm-up, had a little bit more of an intense warm-up today and I came out playing really well, so I’m really happy with how I played today.”

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Lincoln Feast.)


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