Underarm Serves
Nick Kyrgios

Underarm serves, a completely legal practice in the sport of tennis but have become obsolete over the years. With the mercurial tennis player, Nick Kyrgios using the witty serves exhaustively, they have regained their lost fame.

As stated by the legend of the sport, Roger Federer“underarm is definitely a tactic,” and certainly it’s a smart strategy to start a point.

1. Nick Kyrgios vs Rafael Nadal, Acapulco International 2019:

It was one of the uncanniest matches of the year between the big server, Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal in the round-of-16 match of the Mexican tournament. The ingenious move of an underarm serve from the volatile tennis player, Kyrgios infuriated the Spaniard ace.

That day, Kyrgios exploited Rafa’s practice of standing on the periphery of the retrieval zone of the tennis court while returning a serve. The Australian flicked the ball short over the net with his underarm serve and Nadal was unable to touch the ball.

After losing Rafa mentioned, “He (Kyrgios) could win Grand Slams and fight the top positions of the ranking, but there is a reason why he is where he is. He lacks respect for the public, the rival and towards himself.”

After catching up with the highlights of the three-hour-long tussle in Mexico, Roger Federer said, “underarm is definitely a tactic, I believe.”

2. Nick Kyrgios vs Dusan Lajovic in Miami Open 2019

After his title victory in Acapulco, Nick Kyrgios continued with his underarm serves in Miami. Kyrgios doubled down the Serbian, Dusan Lajovic with his underarm serve tactic as he won both points with underarm ace serves.

Judy Murray’s appraisal!

3. Nick Kyrgios vs Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon 2019

One of the hyped matches at Wimbledon 2019, was between the eminent rivals Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal. The match was accompanied by the Australian’s signature serves. In the first set, Kyrgios came up with an underarm ace and sealed the game to love. 

He bamboozled Rafa again in the second set with an underarm delivery and the two-time Wimbledon champion couldn’t do anything apart from netting the ball.

4. Bernard Tomic hits an underarm tweener serve on match point

Two Australians compatriots, Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios were playing against each other at Kooyong Classic. Tomic had a match point on his serve, he came up with an underarm tweener serve on the match point and won 6-3, 6-4. “I don’t think there has ever been a player like BT,” Kyrgios said.

5. Michael Llodra vs Roger Federer, Roger Cup 2010:

The Swiss legend, Roger Federer faced an underarm serve in the quarterfinals of Toronto. It’s the first time I got an underarm serve,” Federer said with a laugh. During the point, Federer had no idea what was happening and placed the return wide outside. 

That day, Federer was wearing an adoring baby pink colored t-shirt and upon losing the match against Federer, Llodra asked for that. “The third time somebody asked me for the shirt,” Federer added.

6. Michael Llodra vs Andy Murray, US Open 2013:

The first round match the US Open 2013 between the defending champion, Andy Murray and Michael Llodra witnessed an underarm serve.

In the final game, the Frenchman, Llodra was trailing by 0-30 on his serve. He promptly came up with an underarm serve, but the Scottish champion, Murray was prepared to return the serve.

After running back and forth in that rally, it was Murray winning the point on that underarm serve and his earned three match points from Llora’s serve.

7. Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Richard Gasquet, US Open 2015:

The Australian, Kokkinakis served underarm against Gasquet in the first-round match at US Open 2015. He was not able to play during the final set and was just trying to conclude the match. The underarm serve was produced out of physical frailty. 

Injured Kokkinakis was returning serves from a standstill and serving either at half-pace or underarm, but later, he later retired from the match 4-6, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 2-0 due to a leg injury.

“I didn’t feel tired physically either, which is the most frustrating thing about it. I actually felt all right. My energy levels were good, and then I went up to hit a swing and volley or something, and both my calves – it was just disaster. Yeah, I’m pretty shattered,” Kokkinakis said. 

8. Kei Nishikori vs Nick Kyrgios, IPTL:

During IPTL in 2016, the Japanese Number one tennis player, Nishikori tried an underarm serve against the underarm serve specialist, Kyrgios but failed to place the ball over the net.

9. Mansour Bahrami: 

The Iranian tennis player, Mansour Bahrami used to hit classic underarm serves during his professional tennis career. Recently he did it again at a friendly doubles-match at Wimbledon.

10. Amanda Anisimova vs Danielle Collins, Exhibition Match:

French Open 2019 semifinalist, Anisimova tried an underarm serve against Collins in an exhibition match in the US.