ANDY MURRAY caught everyone napping – particularly his opponent James Duckworth – with a rare forearm serve in his Wimbledon first round match.
But what did Murray say about the controversial shot and where does it stand within the rules of the sport?
Why did Andy Murray hit an armpit?
Andy Murray says he used the shot as a “smart play” to take advantage of how Duckworth had changed his return position when the Brit served.
Murray said Duckworth stepped back two yards and used the trick to catch him with the serve.
The Brit said: “Well, he changed his return position – that’s why I did it.
“He struggled a bit on the first return of serve, so he probably stepped back two meters more. As soon as I saw him step further back, I threw in the cuff.
“I personally have no problem with players using it. I never.
“It is a legitimate way of serving. I would never do a forearm serve when someone is standing on the baseline because I think that’s a stupid idea.
“It’s a smart game tactically.
“Nobody says it’s disrespectful when someone comes back from 5-6 yards behind the baseline to gain an advantage.
“So I used it not to be disrespectful to him, but to say if you step back further to return serve to buy yourself more time then I’m going to take advantage of that.”
What are the rules for underarm cuffs?
Armpit cuffs are perfectly legal.
As long as the ball is hit with the racquet before it hits the ground, this is considered the same as hitting the ball in a downward motion.
The armpit cuff was actually first used AGAINST Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl at the 1989 French Open by Michael Chang.
Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev are also proponents of the armpit.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5665877/why-did-andy-murray-underarm-serve-tennis-rules/ Why did Andy Murray use an armpit cuff, is it legal and what did he say?