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Cressy’s goal: to serve and volley successfully…on clay

The Paris-born American reveals he is a fan of Pete Sampras and Pat Rafter

Maxime Cressy Maxime Cressy (USA) (JB Autissier / Panoramic)

Runner-up in Montpellier, defeated in the final by Jannik Sinner, Maxime Cressy reminded us how much more his serve-and-volley style of play can achieve. The American only lost his serve once throughout the tournament, in the second set of the final. That’s how effective he is.

So any comparison is informative: “I have a game that has a huge potential and I can beat anyone. My idols are Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter. They are the reason I play my game. I try to be like Pete Sampras. He had two first [serves] too, he would commit to the second. We’re kind of similar,” he said after the match.

The 25-year-old should be so lucky as to have the same record as his idol. Pete Sampras won 14 Grand Slam tournaments, including seven Wimbledons. Cressy still has a long way to go.

Cressy ahead of clay-court season

If serve-and-volley seems to be less suited to clay courts, Cressy does not care. He wants to make history with this style of play and not confine it to fast surfaces: “I want to be a complete player, on all surfaces. I want to be a complete player on all surfaces. To prove that on clay, it can also be very effective. Because there are too many volley servers who have stopped playing this style of game on clay. Not one of them has been persistent on clay, so that’s one of my goals,” said the world No 40.

As long as he’s winning with this style, he’ll continue with it.

“When I find a system that works, I never change. All that slowed me down a bit was to change my mind, to go in several different directions. Now I’ve realised with experience, since last year, that I have to stay in the same direction and master what I’m doing perfectly.”

Cressy will be looking to do better than last year on clay. He didn’t win a single match at Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome (which he didn’t enter) or Roland-Garros.

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