Mpetshi Perricard in the tradition of great servers

Mpetshi Perricard in the tradition of great servers
Mpetshi Perricard in the tradition of great servers

Wimbledon showcases the great servers, as illustrated this year by the Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, who in the first round hit 99 serves that did not come back to him and who is counting on this weapon to face Yoshihito Nishioka on the second Thursday.

Eliminated in the third round of qualifying, « Gio » was drafted. Luck. But fate put him in front of a very good player for the first match of his career in the Major on grass in the person of the American Sebastian Korda, 21st in the world and eighth finalist for his first participation in 2021. Bad luck.

So, the Frenchman brought out the big guns, very big guns. He hit 51 aces and 48 service winners out of the 186 points won in total to win 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3!

“Honestly, I’m happy to have this serve which helps me a lot. On break points, I stay calm, I don’t think about the ace or the winning serve. If I make one, so much the better. If the ball comes back, well, I’ll have to figure it out, but I don’t put pressure on myself by telling myself that I absolutely have to make an ace.”he assures.

Danger

It is perhaps even more on the points where he is in danger that Mpetshi Perricard relies on this formidable service.

He thus managed two aces in a row, including one on a second serve, while Korda led 6 points to 5 in the tie break of the third set. In total, he saved eleven break points in the match, including six on aces, and never conceded his serve.

Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in the first round of Wimbledon against American Sebastian Korda on July 2, 2024 in London / Ben Stansall / AFP

But be careful! If Mpetshi Perricard is so effective in his engagement, it is the result of a long work. And there is no question of resting on this strong point alone.

“I find that it’s not easy to serve. Otherwise, everyone would be strong. When you’re tall (2.03m), it definitely helps. But if you don’t have good technique, if you haven’t worked in training, if you haven’t spent hours and hours on the basket, you’re not going to be able to serve many aces in a match.”he insists.

As an expert, the American John Isner, holder of the record of 113 aces in a single match, at Wimbledon in 2010 against Nicolas Mahut, describes it as ” stunning “ the Frenchman’s service gesture.

“I wouldn’t touch anything about his technique, it seems perfect to me. And he has shown that he can already find all the zones. He also hits the second serve very hard with little waste.”he commented in the newspaper L’Equipe on Wednesday.

” Construction site “

Because on the other side, between the equipment, the training, the courts that are slowing down, the balls that are getting heavier, the players are returning better and better and above all longer and longer.

“So we have to be more and more precise”insists the Frenchman, convinced that he must broaden his playing range.

“You have to have a strong enough playing style to be able to make a difference in the game”he assures.

This work, and there is some ” a lot “ he admits, he does it with his trainer Emmanuel Planque.

When the two men began their collaboration in 2022, GMP believes that his game “was a big project.”

Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi during the Queen’s grass court tournament on July 20, 2024 in London / HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP

“We had to change things. First of all, I didn’t have the right vision of the game. I didn’t see how I was going to play in a few years. I didn’t really see my weapons.”lists the player.

Besides his huge serve, he has a violent forehand which he will learn to use “to hurt” and not for “play the game”The goal is to become as aggressive as possible.

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