After mimicking Nick Kyrgios’ underarm serve, Andy Murray reveals Indian Wells’ strategy.
At the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Andy Murray will face Alexander Zverev.
Andy Murray has threatened to use his underarm serve at the BNP Paribas Open for the second time after doing so for the first time in his pro career.
On game point at 1-1 in the second set, the Scot aced young Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz with a “brilliant play.”
The world No. 121 then won 10 of the next 14 games to win a thrilling match 5-7 6-3 6-2 in just over three hours against the world No. 38.
“I’ve never done that on the tour before,” Murray explained. On the first serve, he began to stand further back. The courts in this town are excruciatingly sluggish. On my first serve, I didn’t get many free points – I only got three aces in the entire match, one of which was an underarm serve.
“If you compare where he was standing at the start of the match to return the first serve to where he was standing at the end of the first set, you’ll notice he’s changed. He began returning from a wider distance, making it even more difficult to win free points on the serve.
“Why not try it and see if I can move him forward a little bit again if he’s going to stand that far back and I’m getting no love from the court and the conditions?” He didn’t seem to respond. He didn’t expect it, and neither did I expect to get an ace out of it. In the third set, I considered utilizing it at times, but I was up in the score, doing a little better, and didn’t feel like I needed to.
“It was the first time I did it in a match, and it got the ace.” If the guys are standing that far back, I might do it again in the future. It’s a sensible play now because men are standing there to return serve.” Murray’s clever play was lauded by tennis fans on Twitter, drawing analogies to Australian Nick Kyrgios, who memorably tried the approach against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2019.
“I vividly remember when Kyrgios did this to Rafa during their Wimbledon match, received a lovely smile from Rafa for that effort,” @fedalllll said of the incident.
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