Jannik Sinner captured his seventh tour-level title and his first of the season on Sunday when he moved past American Maxime Cressy 7-6(3), 6-3 to triumph at the Open Sud de France – Montpellier.
Sinner had never won a match in two previous appearances at the ATP 250 event, but was impressive all week to change that record. After receiving a walkover from Marton Fucsovics, he defeated Lorenzo Sonego, Arthur Fils and Cressy to become the first Italian champion in the tournament’s history.
“To be honest, the first key was to hold the serve. In the tie-break I knew he may miss something. I tried to keep my serve, which I have done, so I am very happy about the first set,” Sinner said in his on-court interview. “The second set was a little bit different. I had a couple of good chances but he then served very well. I am very happy I broke him here and then I served very well at the end of match.”
In a tight final, the Italian soaked up Cressy’s thunderous serving and big hitting, turning the tables during baseline exchanges with clean striking. The second seed won 86 per cent (32/37) of his first-serve points and was strong on return, finding the feet of the onrushing American to seal his victory after one hour and 35 minutes.
Sinner earned the decisive mini-break at the start of the first-set tie-break when Cressy double faulted. After moving ahead, he remained patient in the second set, breaking in the eighth game, when Cressy pushed a volley wide, before he held serve to clinch the crown.
The 21-year, who reached the fourth round at the Australian Open last month, has won six of his seven tour-level titles on hard courts. His other triumph came on clay in Umag.
Sinner is the first player to win a tour-level title this year without having dropped a set and the first since countryman Lorenzo Musetti won the title in Naples in October. The 21-year-old is up to No. 14 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his run in France.
Cressy, competing in his fourth tour-level final, was aiming to win his second ATP Tour crown. The 25-year-old, who edged past World No. 9 Holger Rune to reach the championship match, is up to No. 40 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Did You Know?
Sinner has won seven of the eight tour-level finals that he has played. His only defeat came against Hubert Hurkacz in the Miami final in 2021.