Maxime Cressy had heard people chanting his name in college, when he twice clinched big wins against his rival school.
Hearing that sweet sound of "Cressy! Cressy!" at the U.S. Open was a whole new experience.
Cressy rallied for a stunning victory Tuesday, coming from two sets down and saving four match points to beat No.9 seed Pablo Carreno Busta 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7).
Cressy, an American who was born in France and played at UCLA, came on tour last year when there were no fans. So the outer courts that swelled throughout his match against the two-time U.S. Open semifinalist was completely unfamiliar.
"I don't have much experience with crowds. My debut on the tour was during the COVID," Cressy said. "It's definitely a new experience, a really exciting one. I love playing with the crowd."
And the crowds loved watching his serve-and-volley style, a rarity on tour these days. His aggressive ways twice clinched UCLA victories over USC, which led to the past chants of his name.
It's been a good start so far for the Bruins, with three men reaching the second round. Marcos Giron won Monday and Mackenzie McDonald — a one-time roommate — upset No. 27 David Goffin on Tuesday.
"I've had some unbelievable years at UCLA that I'll keep in my heart," Cressy said. "It's been incredible seeing all the Bruins doing very well."
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!