TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as John Isner takes on Maxime Cressy in the first round on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022.
John Isner is not in a happy space right now as he enters the 2022 Australian Open with a 1-3 record. In contrast, fellow American Maxime Cressy is playing the best tennis of his life and is eyeing a major scalp on Tuesday. Who will advance in the battle of the big servers?
John Isner returns to the Australian Open for the first time since 2020. He elected not to play the tournament last year in the middle of the pandemic and the supposed tough bubble life. The big-serving Isner has made the second week of the year’s first Grand Slam on two occasions which are intertwined among a series of early exits to go with. I doubt there will be high hopes for him to succeed in the next fortnight. He is 1-3 to start the year, with his sole win coming at the ATP Cup against Brayden Schnur where team USA finished bottom of the group.
Maxime Cressy, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength in a fine start to his 2022 campaign. Cressy was quick out of the blocks, going from qualifier to finalist at the Melbourne Summer Set, besting the likes of Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimtirov before losing to Rafael Nadal in the title match. That result was swiftly followed by a decent quarterfinal run in Sydney. He is a genuine dark horse at the Australian Open in the next fortnight, but will need his serve to hit the right spots against fellow big server John Isner.
John Isner and Maxime Cressy have not played before on the ATP Tour. Isner is a slight underdog according to the oddsmakers due to his mixed start to the year. The last time Isner played a big server at the Australian Open, he lost to Reilly Opelka. Cressy has a good chance of emulating that result after a scintillating run to the final of the Melbourne Summer Set. He has rekindled the art of serve-and-volley and is a better a mover than his 36-year-old counterpart. Should this go the distance, which I expect it to, then Cressy will have the upper hand.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Maxime Cressy in five sets.
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