Maxim Cressi He is known for his unique hit-and-ball tactics, an old-school style that stands out in the modern game. The Paris-born American also has a distinctive approach to the mental side of the sport, using a mindset that meshes with his aggressive play.
“My mentality is definitely unique,” Chrissy told the ATP Tour in a recent on-camera interview, crediting his volleyball-playing mother and two older brothers for helping him develop his competitive spirit. “I focused a lot on what I could control, on my serve, on being the most efficient serve-and-ball player.
“That’s what I fear most about my opponents, to focus on myself and not on them.”
Fully confident in his technique, the 25-year-old has never shied away from setting lofty goals. After transforming himself from UCLA’s “bench player” into the best player in college tennis, he sees no reason not to target stars on the ATP Tour.
“My main goal is to be No. 1 and dominate the tour,” said Chrissy, who reached the Pepperstone ATP ranking of No. 31 last August. “I don’t put any limits on myself and I haven’t yet. That’s why I’ve reached this level, and I believe this mindset will lead me to more success.”
He later added, “I can only imagine who I want to be and when. I have great confidence in setting goals. I’ve been doing it every year for the last four or five years, and most of my goals for her have come true.”
To reach his increasingly ambitious goals, Cressy doubles down on what some might call a high-stakes strategy of all-out attack. But for him, there is no other way.
“The biggest factor mentally, I would say, is becoming so used to playing a game that is so risky that it doesn’t become risky in your perception,” he said. “The key to getting to the next level is sticking to serve and volleyball, whatever works. I’ve played serves, volleyball and big serve so many times that it’s now normal and a part of me. I don’t consider my game a risky game today because I’m used to it.”
Chrissie has won 88.8 percent of service matches in the 2022 ATP Tour season, which is good Fifth on the leaderboard. But he broke serve in just 13.2 percent of the return matches, putting him in 76th place on tour and providing a key opportunity for growth.
“I think the next step is to make the rematch stronger,” he said. “I think coming back I have to have a different mentality, a mentality to get the opposition to play more and I need, like the big players, to create a lot of balls in the game. I think I can do that.”
Maxim Cressi “/>
Maxim Cressi Lifts his first ATP Tour title in Newport. Photo credit: Andrew Eichenholz/ATP Tour
It all came together for the American last July in Newport, where he won his first ATP title behind three three-set victories against. Steve JohnsonAnd John Eisner And Alexander Bublik. He defeated Bublik in a third-set tiebreak to make a breakthrough at the Cup in his third tour-level final; Just a month earlier, he lost a final-set tiebreaker to Taylor Fritz in the Eastbourne Championship match.
“It was definitely a nerve-wracking experience,” he said of the Newport final, “especially in the third set where I kept thinking the whole time about the cup and the two missed finals.”
You might also like: Highlighting First Time Winner: Maxime Crecy
The title was a testament to Crissy’s game improvement and mentality, and it also served as the latest example of the power of visualization for The Americans.
He revealed that “Newport was the first title I had in mind, a long time ago, two, three years ago.” “I kept thinking to myself that it would be great and special if Newport was my first title because it was my first ATP title. [event] Played before… I’m glad I was able to get this title. “
Pressure is a constant part of life on the Tour, and has always been present for Chrissie in his grueling ATP 250 career. He copes with that pressure by referring to phrases he writes in his journal, with one highlight in particular: “instill doubt,” which is directive. It keeps him focused on the present and reminds him to take the match to his opponent.
“I put my faith in this phrase,” he explained, “and it has never failed me.” “I just repeat that sentence to myself so I don’t get distracted by other things. I know in a tennis match there are a lot of variables that can distract you. Those two words are key to me.”
There’s no doubting Chrissy’s belief that he belongs at the top of the game. After breaking into the top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP rankings in January 2022, the American is looking much higher in 2023.