Andy Murray paid homage to his good friend Nick Kyrgios when serving at 1-1, game point in the second set having lost the first 7-5 by slipping in a perfectly executed underarm second serve ace completely bamboozling young Spanish opponent Carlos Alcaraz in their second round match.
Murray casually swaggered back to his chair with a 2-1 lead.
The thirty-four year old Scot, who was World No. 1 the last time he played here in 2017 went on to take the set 6-3 and won the third and the match 6-2.
After the match Murray explained why he chose to use the serve.
“The courts are painfully slow here. I served just three aces in a three hour match. Since Wimbledon I have been serving four or five a set. That (underarm serve) was one of the three I served today. I was thinking about using it again in the third set.
I decided to give it a go and see. I went for it and it worked well. Maybe I’ll use it again in the future if guys are going to move that far back on courts like this.”
The four time Grand slam winner added: “I’ve done it the odd time for fun, but not like that. I just thought I’d hit it short and flat and he wasn’t ready for it.
It worked. Some people don’t like it but with where guys are returning from nowadays, you have to use it sometimes to try and bring them up the court. You look at a guy like (Daniil) Medvedev standing 12-14 feet behind the baseline and it’s pointless hitting 140mph serves when they are coming back, so it’s kind of worth while throwing it in sometimes.”
Former British number one Tim Henman was in the commentary box for Amazon Prime and admitted he was scratching his head trying to recollect a match when he had seen Murray use the tactic and couldn’t but credited the Scot for seizing the opportunity and executing it to perfection.
Also in the TV studio was former British number one, Johanna Konta who was eager to praise Murray’s quick witted move.
“To be able to hit that you need mental clarity; a clear mind to see what happens. You need to brave enough to hit it and, no, I have not been brave enough to hit one like that. It’s also one of those things that if you mess it up, you ask yourself why did I do that?”
Main photo:- Andy Murray in second round match ©ATPTour.com