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Cressy Edges Korda In Tel Aviv

Maxime Cressy’s serve-and-volley game got the job done Wednesday on the indoor hard courts of the Tel Aviv Watergen Open, where the American delivered a strong first-round showing to defeat countryman Sebastian Korda at the ATP 250 event in Israel.

The fourth-seeded Cressy won 82 per cent (23/28) of points at the net and saved both break points he faced in his 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Korda. One break of Korda’s serve in each set was enough for Cressy to complete an 85-minute victory in his first tour-level meeting against the World No. 44 and clinch his seventh ATP Tour quarter-final berth of the season.

Cressy has enjoyed a rapid rise in 2022, reaching his career-high of No. 31 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in August, having started the year outside the Top 100. The 25-year-old, who lifted his maiden tour-level trophy on the grass in Newport in July, will meet Emil Ruusuvuori or Constant Lestienne in the quarter-finals in Israel.

Lestienne had earlier set his clash against Ruusuvuori by upsetting seventh seed Adrian Mannarino 7-6(2), 6-4. The one-hour, 55-minute first-round victory against his No. 51-ranked fellow Frenchman was the biggest of Lestienne’s career.


Also on Wednesday, Roman Safiullin secured his second tour-level quarter-final appearance with a 6-1, 6-4 second-round win against Tomas Martin Etcheverry in Tel Aviv. The No. 104-ranked Safiullin’s previous quarter-final also came on indoor hard courts, in February in Marseille, where he ultimately fell in the semi-finals. His next opponent in Israel will be third seed Diego Schwartzman or Arthur Rinderknech.

Four-time tour-level titlist Pablo Andujar earned his place in the second round when he defeated Thiago Monteiro 7-6(3), 6-1 to set a clash against top seed Novak Djokovic. Andujar trails Djokovic 0-2 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, having last faced the Serbian at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in 2012.


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