Tsitsipas: “I’m working to bring serve and volley back into my game”

204 points played, 45 climbs attempted. Or 22.06% of trade. To defeat Daniel Medvedev at the end of the suspense – 6-3, 6-7¹¹, 7-6¹ – Wednesday evening at the Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas rushed to the net. With 80% success (36/45).

On a surface as fast – “the fastest of the year”, according to Medvedev – as that of the Pala Alpitour in Turin where even Casper Ruud became a serial “acer”, the offensive option often pays off. Especially when following the net serve. A fortiori against Medvedev, so as to exploit his very remote back position.

Serve and volley: a tactic that can work against Medvedev on fast surfaces, provided you have the assets to do so

In the final of the US Open last year, Novak Djokovic had used, even abused, serve and volley. More generally, he came to the net on 25.9% of exchanges, for a success of 65.96%. If he had seen his Grand Slam dreams come to an end by suffering a defeat in three sets – 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 -, he had not thrown everything away from this final. A few weeks later, in Bercy, he had done it again to take his revenge against the Muscovite.

Hubert Hurkacz, too, regularly annoyed the nicknamed “Meddy”, partly thanks to this game plan. win in the round of 16 at Wimbledon 2021. By playing serve and volley very regularly. An asset that seems very effective against the former world number 1 on fast surfaces, provided you have the cards in your game to do so. Like Tsitsipas.

Until two, three years ago, I used serve and volley more often.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Against Djokovic on Monday, the Athenian had only climbed 10 times out of 124 points (8.06%), including 7 with success. If he considerably increased this percentage two days later by regularly following his first ball to the net, he defended himself from having put this strategy in place specifically for Medvedev. It should be seen more as a desire to reconnect with the tennis of his youth.

“Until two or three years ago, I used serve and volley more often,” he explained at a press conference. “I even did it on clay. Then much less. But I work daily to bring that back into my game, to put more uncertainty in my opponent’s mind. That he doesn’t know if I’m going to stay or melt or not.”

“I think serve and volley should be an important part of our sport” – Stefanos Tsitsipas

And moving forward effectively starts with a good launch pad. “I have improved my serve in recent years,” he added. “That’s what makes me more comfortable and confident to do it (serve and volley). I am much more fluid and relaxed on serve. It was a little different in the past, I lost that as the game progressed. Regarding the volleys, I worked a lot. To simplify them, without overdoing it. It helped me to be more consistent and find the right areas.”

Like a necromancer equipped with a racket as a witchcraft stick, the Greek wants to resurrect a body believed to be dead and buried for a long time in modern tennis. “It (the serve and volley) disappeared,” he observed, lucid. “I think it has to be an important part of our sport. That we see more players doing it while watching TV, or being in the stadiums. To bring this style back to life, Stefanos Tsitsipas can count on the bewitched sequences of another adept: Maxime Cressy.

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Tsitsipas: “I’m working to bring serve and volley back into my game”

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