Eye of the Coach #50: Why Maxime Cressy is giving serve and volley new life

In the latest edition of Eye of the Coach, Patrick Mouratoglou says the performances of Maxime Cressy in recent times have shown that serve and volley tennis is not dead

March 10, 2022
The figures

French-born American Maxime Cressy enjoyed an impressive start to the year when he reached the final of the warm-up tournament in Melbourne and then made the last 16 of the Australian Open, serving and volleying his way through and pushing Daniil Medvedev hard in a four-set battle.

Cressy remains an exception on the men’s Tour, with slower surfaces and changes to racquet technology meaning most players stay on the baseline.

But Mouratoglou says the performances of Cressy will have given a lot of players a few ideas.

“I think it’s great to have serve and volley again,” Mouratoglou says. “Cressy is a great server. All the people say it’s impossible to win at the highest level by serve and volley. Cressy shows that it is possible. I can see him as top 10.”

Mouratoglou says Cressy is very different to the old-school serve and volleyers like John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg and Pat Rafter, who relied on their volleying skills to win.

“He’s serving to win the point. If there is a volley he will play it,” Mouratoglou says. “He’s not a typical serve and volleyer, he’s more a modern one, he serves a lot of aces, a lot of serve winners, compared to those guys who were serving to play a volley.”

Mouratoglou says Cressy may still be a rarity but that he has shown the value of getting to the net.

“We’ve gone through a time when players are going less and less to the net,” he says. “The tour is dominated by counterpunchers. But in the last few years, there are more and more counterpunchers, so to make the difference, they have to go to the net more and more to win the point. We are seeing that more and more.

“I don’t think serve and volley is a tendency, I think Cressy is an exception but I think players will be going more and more to the net.”

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