This is not something you see often, if at all! He changes his racquet every game. And the he I'm talking about is Maxime Cressy.
He changes racquet every game
Why does Maxime Cressy change his racquet every game? Because he wants a different response from the racquet on serves and returns. If you don't know about Maxime Cressy, he is a tall (2+ meters) player with a big serve who serves and volleys on every point. This has, somewhat surprisingly, in this day and age of baseline rallies, polyester strings, and spectacular defense led him to become a top 40 player after a stellar 2022.
Cressy changes his Babolat Pure Aero 2016 strung with Solinco Tour Bite every game. He likely has a lower tension on his serve to increase power and a higher tension on his returns to improve control. This is an interesting strategy that I haven't seen before. Some players change their racquets when new balls are in play to increase the control for the livelier balls. They simply get a fresh set of strings.
But Cressy has taken this to the next level with one serve string tension and one return string tension. It does make some sense and makes me want to try it.
However, I wonder how different the tensions are because if the difference is large, he will struggle to adjust even if he is used to a different racquet when returning. Because he can get into the same style of rally and hit the same type of shots, no matter if he is returning or serving.
In the above video dealing with Cressy's unorthodox racquet strategy, I also discuss some racquet and gear changes in 2023. It's nice to see Pouille playing, hopefully pain-free, with his old Prince Textreme Tour 100P.
Samsonova has switched to HEAD and Popyrin is playing well with his new Dunlop FX 500 Tour.
Watch the video for more info!
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Cressy’s game is worth watching. He’s a throwback— all serve and volley, all chip and charge, and often hits second serve bombs. Reportedly the French Tennis Federation didn’t think he had a future, so he ended up playing college tennis in the US at UCLA and won the NCAA doubles championship in 2019. He’s notched some singles victories against top ATP players and made it to the 3rd round at Roland Garros, in part because his style is so foreign to most guys on the tour. His matches remind me of the classic clash-of-styles battles between Sampras and Agassi back in the day.
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