Why Maxime Cressy Can Win Wimbledon

Maxime Cressy Wimbledon

Maxime Cressy, the world #45, served and volleyed his way through to the second round of Wimbledon on Tuesday, getting the better of the Canadian #6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the process. With Auger-Aliassime being the high seed in that section, and with the withdrawal of Matteo Berrettini from the same half, is there cause for optimism for the big UCLA graduate?

Why Maxime Cressy Can Win Wimbledon

One Break Point Faced & Clutch In The Tiebreaks

It was always going to be a match of fine margins against Auger-Aliassime. The young, talented Canadian has a strong enough service game of his own, but Cressy stepped up when it mattered most.

The Paris-born American player only took one break point out of the three he created in the four-set match and that was enough to win a crucial second set. The first set was decided on a tiebreak which went the way of Auger-Aliassime, so it was vital for Cressy to win that second set. When the third and fourth sets were also decided on tiebreaks it came a real test of Cressy’s faith and execution of his game plan.

The Cressy Game Plan

A year or so ago Cressy needed to be introduced to tennis fans, and possibly opponents too. Then there was speculation about whether a game like Cressy’s could succeed at the top level. Having now reached the top 50 it is surely time to ask, can Cressy win Wimbledon 2022?

The formula now is fairly well known. Cressy will serve-and-volley on a very high percentage of his serves. He is a big server at around 200kph, but not one of the game’s biggest. He also doesn’t rack up the aces–indeed, he lost the ace count resoundingly to Auger-Aliassime. However, what Cressy’s tactics do is to pile pressure on the opponent by forcing them into an aggressive passing shot off the return, creating a forced error or a mishit.

What is less discussed though is the tactics on return. Cressy subscribes to the “take time away from your opponent” school. Where you may find Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, or Alexander Zverev standing very deep on return, Cressy doesn’t give up the baseline. He rushes his opponent by playing powerful strokes on return from that short distance as well. This creates a lot of errors on return for Cressy, but again, applies pressure to his opponents and allows him to get to net even on return.

Steady Improvement In Ranking & Technique

Obviously, when playing the serve-and-volley game it is vital that the volleys are up to the test. Initially this is were Cressy would have some struggles. However, as per Damian Kust, there has been some major improvements in this part of the Cressy game.

This is perhaps unsurprising when you are facing hundreds of volleys per match; hardcore practice such as this should always reap its rewards.

The rewards have been fairly tangible for Cressy as well. He sits at a career high of #45 with a likelihood of going even higher–live rankings currently have him at #41. Obviously, there will be no ranking points for a run at Wimbledon this year, but there is a feeling that Cressy could go for glory here. If there is any Grand Slam in which a serve-volleyer is going to have success then it is Wimbledon on the grass.

Will Cressy Win Wimbledon 2022?

Of course the odds are very much against a Cressy overall victory, there is the small matter of 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic still in the draw. However, Cressy himself will not be afraid of those players and he has shown absolute belief in his methods.

He is due to run into fellow American Taylor Fritz in the fourth round, if both players make it that far then we could see some great fireworks and the winner of that match would stand a great chance of taking on Rafael Nadal.

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