‘It’s a completely legitimate tactic!’ – Andy Murray defends underarm serves

Andy Murray has criticised those who claim underarm serves are disrespectful, saying it is a perfectly ‘legitimate tactic.’

Daniil Medvedev is the latest player to have used the ploy successfully, doing so against Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals this week.

Afterwards, he was forced to explain the thinking behind it amid suggestions it was done to ‘mock’ the German. Murray, though, is having none of it.

“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,” Murray told Gael Monfils on a Twitch stream.

“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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