Mouse serve completed popular lately Nick Kyrgiosand is the subject of ridicule in some circles (just ask Rafael Nadal), but this tactic is rarely among the best in the game.
But ask the Central Court crowd what they thought about Andy Murray’s efforts on Monday and they would probably say it was magic.
Murray is known as an excellent game tactician. So when he saw James Duckworth camped behind the baseline on Center Court, he spotted his opportunity and threw in a controversial underarm serve to try and catch him.
“Is that Kyrgios or Murray?” John McEnroe told the BBC. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen this from Murray. Wow”.
Only it wasn’t the best of innings: Murray hit the ball too deep, and the high rebound gave Duckworth more than enough time to get his racket.
This left the very real prospect of Murray – by now dominating the match – with an egg in his face.
But then came the classic Murray sequence: throwing and then smashing Duckworth’s attempt to stay on point.
The Center Court crowd was momentarily frozen between laughter and applause before everyone rose to celebrate the audacity of the two-time champion. It was a memorable moment that helped solidify the momentum in Murray’s favor as he won the third set.
Such is the rarity with which the underhand serve is used, it was Murray’s first serve at Wimbledon, although he has more recently used it at Indian Wells in America.