Andy Murray defends using cheeky underarm serve in Wimbledon opener against James Duckworth


Andy Murray has defended the use of the underarm serve he displayed in his first-round Wimbledon win over Australian James Duckworth.

After his 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory, Murray explained in his post-match press conference that the decision to use the uncommon shot, more often used by his friend and fellow star of tennis Nick Kyrgios, was a tactical decision. a.

Curiously, Murray’s execution of the serve wasn’t particularly precise, shooting too high and too long, but he won the point anyway.

“He [Duckworth] changed his position back, that’s why I did it,” Murray told reporters. “He was standing very close to coming back. He was having a little trouble on the return of the first serve, so he probably backed off two yards. As soon as I saw him pull back further, I threw the underarm serve.

“I personally have no problem with players using it. I never have. Certainly more and more players have started to come back from further, further behind the baseline now to give themselves an advantage to return.

“The underarm serve is a way of saying, ‘If you’re going to back down there, then maybe I’ll add that. “”

There seems to be the unusual notion among a small minority of tennis fans that the underarm serve is somehow disrespectful to the opposing player.

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Murray disagrees.

“I don’t know why people ever found that potentially disrespectful,” he said. “I never understood that. It is a legitimate way to serve. I would never use an underarm serve if someone was standing on the baseline because I think it’s a dumb idea because they’ll track it down and it’s easy to get.

“If they’re standing four or five yards behind the baseline, then why wouldn’t you do that to try to get them forward if they’re not comfortable going back there? Tactically, it’s a smart game. No one is saying it’s disrespectful for someone to come back from six yards, whatever, five yards behind the baseline to try to gain an advantage.

“So I used it not to disrespect him but to say, ‘If you’re going to pull back even further to return the serve to give you more time, then I’m going to exploit that.'”


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