Andy Murray rejects underarm serve criticism, insisting ‘it’s a pretty successful tactic’

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The underarm serve is often frowned upon in tennis circles, but Andy Murray believes it is “a completely legitimate play” that often brings the server success.

The unconventional tactic is a strategy that has often been used by Nick Kyrgios in the past few years, much to the dismay of some pundits. However, several players have started to adopt it with Daniil Medvedev sending one down during his ATP Finals victory over Alexander Zverev.

Murray admitted during a Twitch stream with fellow ATP player Gael Monfils that he is not too sure what all the negative fuss is all about.

“Always when that happens, you hear it the commentators they always start going, ‘Oh is it disrespectful to hit an underarm serve?’ I don’t understand it,” he said.

“If players are going to stand six or seven metres behind the baseline to return the serve, I think it’s a completely legitimate play and as we’ve seen it has been at times pretty successful.

“It’s not like players are doing it to mess around. It’s used as a legitimate tactic when players are standing that far behind the baseline. I thought it was a smart play, I certainly wasn’t expecting it when I was watching the match and he [Medvedev] obviously won the point so it’s a good play.

“I’d imagine if you miss it as well – I don’t remember ever doing it in a professional match – you’d probably feel quite silly. You feel like a bit of an idiot.

“I would say, often when you see it a lot of the time you’re seeing the highlights and people like to put it there when it has worked. But I would say it’s a pretty successful tactic and it’s not like guys are only winning one out of every 10 points when they’re doing it. I’d think they’d be winning at least half.”

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