Wimbledon 2022: Why did Andy Murray use rare underarm serve & might he use it again today against John Isner?

At the age of 35, Andy Murray is taking part in his 14th Wimbledon championship.

It’s not often you see one in action at the very top echelons of men’s tennis but the rare underarm serve worked a treat for two time Wimbledon men’s singles champion, Andy Murray, when he saw off Australian, James Duckworth.

Murray explained to the media why he deployed the cheeky serve after his 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over Duckworth.

Why did Andy Murray use a rare underarm serve against James Duckworth?

Some tennis purists turned their noses up at Andy Murray’s decision to surprise Australian, James Duckworth, with a rare underarm serve but the Scot was hearing none of it in a post-match press conference earlier this week.

“He [Duckworth] changed his return position, that’s why I did it,” said Murray.

“He was standing very close to return. He was struggling a little bit on the first-serve return, so he stepped probably two metres further back.

“As soon as I saw him step further back, I threw the underarm serve in.

“I personally have no issue with players using it. I never have.

“Certainly, more and more players have started returning from further, further behind the baseline now to give themselves an advantage to return.

“The underarm serve is a way of saying, ‘If you’re going to step back there, then I’m going to possibly throw that in.’”

Murray went on to say he doesn’t agree that the use of the underarm serve unprofessional.

“I don’t know why people have ever found it potentially disrespectful,” said Murray.

“I’ve never understood that. It’s a legitimate way of serving. I would never use an underarm serve if someone was standing on the baseline because I think it’s a stupid idea because they’re going to track it down and it’s easy to get.

“If they stand four or five metres behind the baseline, then why would you not do that to try to bring them forward if they’re not comfortable returning there? Tactically, it’s a smart play. No one says it’s disrespectful for someone to return from six metres, whatever, five metres behind the baseline to try to get an advantage.

“So I used it not to be disrespectful to him but to say: ‘If you’re going to step further back to return the serve to give yourself more time, then I’m going to exploit that.’”

Could Murray use it again in his round two match against American John Isner?

It depends. If you read into Murray’s explanation for why he used it against Duckworth there’s no reason he wouldn’t do the same against Isner should similar circumstances arise.

However, underarm serves will be the least of Murray’s worries as he will have to dig deep to compete with Isner’s serve, which some former champions have described as the best tennis has ever seen.

When did Andy Murray win Wimbledon?

Murray won his first Wimbledon men’s singles championship back in 2013 when he beat Serb, Novak Djokovic, in the final, 6–4, 7–5, 6–4 .

Murray claimed his second Wimbledon three years later in 2016 and with a straight sets victory of 6–4, 7–6(7–3), 7–6(7–2) over Canadian, Milos Raonic.

Andy Murray is taking part in his 14th Wimbledon championship. (Photo: Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Has Murray won any of the other grand slams?

Yes. Murray beat Djokovic 7–6(12–10), 7–5, 2–6, 3–6, 6–2 to win the US Open in 2012.

Murray also has two Olympic gold medals from when he competed in 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.