Former World No. 1 Andy Murray was watching Daniil Medvedev’s match against Alexander Zverev on Monday when the Russian successfully used an underarm serve late in the second set.
On his daily Nitto ATP Finals Twitch stream with Gael Monfils, Murray admitted he “certainly wasn’t expecting it”, and he had no issue with the play.
“It’s quite interesting because always when that happens, the commentators and the pundits start going, ‘Is it disrespectful to hit an underarm serve?’… and I don’t understand it,” Murray said. “I don’t understand why that should be disrespectful if players are going to stand six, seven metres behind the baseline to return the serve. I think it’s a completely legitimate play and I think as we’ve seen, it actually has been at times pretty successful.”
Murray added that he believes players only use the tactic when they feel they can gain an advantage in a point with it.
“It’s not like players are doing it just to mess around or make fun of the opponent,” Murray said. “It’s used as a legitimate tactic when players are standing that far behind the baseline.”
Monfils said the only time he’s used an underarm serve was against Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros last year. The Frenchman won the point.
“It’s also not that easy to do it,” Monfils said.
Watch Monfils and Murray’s Nitto ATP Finals Twitch stream at 7p.m. GMT through the end of the tournament.