Roland-Garros spectators cannot be too strongly advised to go for a walk on court n° 6, around 11 a.m., Sunday May 28, at the opening of the tournament. He risks having a disconcerting experience there, a journey through time. Attend a Maxime Cressy match (42e world), since it is about him, it is to see at work the only player on the circuit at the present time to systematically practice the serve and volley, that the carpet under his feet is blue, green or ocher as on the Porte d’Auteuil side.
Attend a match of the Franco-American – who faces the Austrian Sebastian Ofner (118e world) in the first round –, it is above all to observe an endangered specimen on a tennis court. It is to promise to plunge back into the glorious era of McEnroe, Navratilova, Becker, Edberg or even Sampras. A blessed time that those under 20 cannot know, before professional tennis no longer loved players at the net but at the back of the court, now able to distribute “blocks” from the tarpaulins and passing shots at the end of the race.
Maxime Cressy, born in Paris but playing for the United States – his mother’s country – fully assumes his anachronism: “My goal is to bring this style up to date, so to inspire players to do the same”, aims for this tall right-hander (he rises to 1.98 meters), where most of his peers see it rather as a last resort. A vintage style, perhaps, but not sterile for all that. Rated 590e world in January 2019, the year he turned professional, he crossed the doors of the top 100 three years later before climbing to 31e rank in August 2022 on the heels of his first title. It was on the grass of Newport (Rhode Island), a surface that particularly suits his game. The 26-year-old now scares all the competition.
Relying on an illegible serve, Cressy quickly got into his opponent’s brain. Even that of Daniil Medvedev, who knows more about it. “It’s so boring (…)it’s just amazing how lucky he is, it’s crazy, I’ve never seen anything like it”, muttered the Russian during their round of 16 at the Australian Open 2022, before finally getting out of it.
Two racquets rather than one
Frustrated after his initial defeat against the server-volleyball player at the last Wimbledon, the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime summed up the trap as follows: “It’s very difficult to play against someone who hits two first balls. » Because the impudent is the compulsive type, with a ball close to the line which slams cheerfully at 210 km / h on first and second serves – even if he also holds the record for the slowest ace in history, a sort of cushioned wooded UFO recorded at… 41 km/h, struck under the dazzling Californian sun of Indian Wells.
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Source: Le Monde