Net-rushing Cressy a danger to Medvedev

French-born American Maxime Cressy wants to make serve-and-volley fashionable again.
French-born American Maxime Cressy wants to make serve-and-volley fashionable again.

Rafael Nadal's warning about a tennis throwback should alert Australian Open favourite Daniil Medvedev to the dangers that await him on Margaret Court Arena on Monday.

As the tournament moves into its business end, the Russian No.2 seed has been firmly installed as the bookmakers' top fancy for the men's title, even in the face of Nadal's ominous rejuvenation.

So it could take something outlandish to topple the US Open champion.

Something, perhaps, like a serial serve-and-volleying, Paris-born American who always liked the idea of being a net-rushing champ in the mould of one of his heroes, Pat Rafter.

So step forward, Maxime Cressy, who's unashamedly kept the flag flying for a seemingly dying art.

Over three rounds, he's come to the net a remarkable 299 times, and on nearly three-quarters of those visits has ended up winning the point.

The 24-year-old's relentless aggression on both serve and return has certainly impressed Nadal, who noted after subduing the world No.70 in the Melbourne Summer Set final: "He's going to be a very uncomfortable player for every opponent.

"If he's able to stay focused and do what he has to do, he's going to be much higher in the rankings at the end of the season without a doubt. I think he has good potential."

Cressy put paid to Australian Chris O'Connell's hopes on Saturday and has no intention of changing his net-hugging endeavour as he trumpets: "My goal is to make serve-and-volley huge in the next 10 years."

He reckons his only mindset is to "go for it" and says he believes he can get to No.1 in the world. "I'm very confident. My game style can beat anyone," he said after the O'Connell win.

So Medvedev, who's already had his fill of the unexpected as he extinguished the pyrotechnics of Nick Kyrgios, has an inkling of what he could be in for.

"Cressy started this year with a final, now he's in the fourth round of a slam. He's going to be pretty confident," he said.

"We'll have to prepare well tactically, mentally. I heard he serves pretty well."

Australian Associated Press