Andy Murray Wimbledon 2022

‘It’s not disrespectful’ – Andy Murray stands by ‘smart play’ underarm serve despite negative connotations

Andy Murray has backed the controversial tennis tactic of serving underarm after he himself deployed one on Monday, likely becoming the only former Wimbledon champion to do so on Centre Court

While certainly not against the rules of the sport, some critics believe the move puts out an air of disrespect when used by players. 

Though perhaps that is more to do with the types of player, namely the maverick Aussie Nick Kyrgios, rather than the shot itself. 

When Murray successfully pulled off the trick in his battle with James Duckworth, he defended it after being asked about it in press. 

“Well, he changed his return position,” he said of Duckworth. 

“That’s why I did it. 

“I personally have no issue with players using it, I never have. 

“The underarm serve is a way of saying ‘if you’re going to step back there, then I’m going to possibly throw that in.’”

The former world number one used the shot at Indian Wells last year against none other than Carlos Alcaraz, one of the in-form players in the world. 

Murray sees no reason why someone might scoff at the play. 

He said: “I don’t know why people have ever found it potentially disrespectful. 

“I’ve never understood that. 

“It’s a legitimate way of serving. 

“I would never use an underarm serve if someone was standing on the baseline. 

“Because I think it’s a stupid idea, they’re going to track it down and it’s easy to get.

“Tactically [the underarm serve] is a smart play. 

“If you’re going to step further back to return the serve to give yourself more time, then I’m going to exploit that.”


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