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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday January 22, 2022

In less than a month, 24-year-old American Maxime Cressy has already surpassed his career total for victories. The American, who defeated Aussie Christopher O’Connell 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday in Melbourne, has now won 9 of his 11 matches in 2022 to lead the ATP Tour in wins.

Tennis Express

It has been a rather remarkable rise for a player that entered the season with just seven ATP wins to his name, but Cressy has tons of self-belief, even if his path to the Top-100 (current rank: 70) has been anything but a straight line.

He did not make the starting team at UCLA when he was a Freshman, but by the end of his college career he was an NCAA champion in doubles and an all-American in singles.

“I believe anything is possible and I think that I believed from the start, even though I wasn't on the lineup my freshman year, I had that self-belief and that carried me through the following four, five, six years and I just kept improving ever since," he told reporters on Saturday.

Cressy is a rare, anachronistic species of tennis player in the modern era: a serve-and-volleyer who makes the lonely journey to the net on pretty much every point he plays. It’s not something we see very often, and the commonly held belief in recent year is that there are too many good returners, taking advantage of modern racquet technology by hitting wicked, dipping spin and powerful pace, too give a pure serve-and-volleyer a chance.

But Cressy has been proving them wrong this year, and he believes he will continue to do so. The American, who decided at the age of 14 that he wanted to be a pure serve-and-volleyer and never looked back, has often said that he thinks he can be No.1 in the world. He reiterated that belief on Saturday night in Melbourne, when he was asked if he believed he can be a Top-10 player.

“Yeah, even No. 1, yeah, I'm very confident,” he said. “My game style can beat anyone, so starting this year I'm very confident. I played Nadal and I really believe that it really put him in an uncomfortable position so I really stick to my routines and to a very disciplined mindset I can do it.”

On clothing sponsorships: waiting for a better offer

Cressy is currently without a clothing sponsor and he says it is by design. He says that it’s tough to strike up a deal when you are outside the Top-100, so he says he wants to wait until he gets inside the Top-50 or even the Top-10 to so some serious negotiating.

Cressy was ranked 112 before he made a run to the Melbourne final two weeks ago and lost to Rafael Nadal. On the following Monday, he was ranked 75. After his run to the round of 16 in his fifth career Grand Slam main draw, he is projected to crack the Top-60.

“I wait, I'm patient, I wait until I have a major breakthrough and I have a leverage to negotiate, especially during the COVID and everything it's much tougher to have a great deal with a sponsorship, so I prefer really breaking through to the top 50, top 10 and then I negotiate,” he said.

Next up the American faces Daniil Medvedev. Not surprisingly Cressy believes he’ll make an impact.

“I'm very excited to play him and I believe it's going to be a very disruptive game against him,” he said.