Andy Murray delivered a rare cheat serve at Wimbledon on Monday, and he didn’t regret it.
Murray was leading 2-1 in the third set against Australian James Duckworth when he seized his unconventional serve. The Briton explained to reporters after winning the first round that it was a strategic decision based on where Duckworth was standing.
“He changed his return position” Murray said at a press conference after the match. “That’s why I did it. He was standing near back [initially]He struggled a bit on the return of the first serve. So he went back probably two metres. As soon as I saw him step back, I threw an armpit send at him.”
Match announcers were baffled by the move, saying they couldn’t remember serving Murray ever being duped before, but concluding: “If you succeed, you will.”
The 35-year-old Murray, who won four sets after losing the first, continued to defend the maneuver.
“Personally, I don’t have a problem with players using it,” he said. “Never have I. Certainly, more and more players are starting to come back from farther, behind the baseline now to give themselves an advantage in coming back.
“Underarm casting is a way of saying, if you’re going back there, then I’m going to cast that.”
Murray, who was ranked no. Number 1 in the world in 2016, he said it was a “legitimate” way to serve and didn’t mean to disrespect his opponent.
“I don’t know why people find it so disrespectful,” he continued. “I’ve never understood it. It’s a legitimate way to serve. I would never use armpit transmission if someone was standing on the baseline because I think it’s a stupid idea. They’re going to track it down and it’s easy to get. If they stand four or five meters behind the baseline, why not do it?” To try to push them forward if they’re not comfortable going back there?Tactically, it’s a smart play.
“No one says it’s disrespectful for someone to come back from six meters behind the baseline trying to gain an advantage. So, I used to not be disrespectful to him but to say, if you’re going to take a step back to resend to give yourself more time, I will take advantage of that.”
Murray, who beat Duckworth 4-6 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, faces American John Isner in the second round on Wednesday.
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