“It’s a smart game,” said Murray after the Briton beat Alcaraz in his Indian Wells win. has used the forearm cuff
Andy Murray performed a controversial tennis trick on Sunday night, but Nick Kyrgios was certainly a fan.
The Brit wanted to reach the third round in Indian Wells and met 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in California.
Alcaraz had just won a tight first set 7-5 after 66 exhausting minutes, and at the beginning of the second set the Spaniard was aiming for a breakup.
Murray saved two breakpoints to get a pair and to his advantage the former world number 1 opted for a forearm serve which proved to be an ace with Alcaraz standing so far behind.
The serve helped Murray take a 2-1 lead in the second set, and when he nonchalantly retreated to his chair, the controversial move was met with a mixture of cheers and scorn.
Kyrgios, number 97 in the world, is probably the most famous player who regularly uses the forearm serve, which often leads to questions about sportiness, respect and the cheap possibility of winning a point.
However, while Kyrgios posted “No way Andy Murray” in his Instagram story, Murray himself defended the move – which is not against the rules – after defeating Alcaraz in three sets.
“If you look at where he was at the beginning of the game to return the first service, he changed that at the end of the first set. He came back from further back so it was even harder to get free points on serve, ”said Murray.
“I thought if he’s so far back and I don’t get any love from the place and the conditions, why don’t you give it a try and see if I can bring him up a bit?
“I obviously didn’t expect to get an ace. He was so far back that he obviously wasn’t responding. Didn’t expect it. I’ve thought about using it in the third sentence at times, but obviously in the score, it went a bit better, I didn’t feel like I had to.
“If the boys are there to return the serve, it will be a smart game.”
Murray’s mother Judy has also defended the forearm serve in the past and praised Kyrgios for his “genius” when he took the train in 2019.
Judy Murray said on Twitter, “The whole point of tennis competition is to disrupt your opponents’ play by applying pressure by changing the speed, spin, direction, depth or height of the ball. And that includes the surcharge. Kyrgios is a genius. I’m surprised that more players don’t do it. “
Kyrgios has been charged with disrespect by Rafael Nadal, who said “he has no respect for the public, the rival and himself” when using the trick against the Spaniard – but the Australian thinks it is a viable tactic.
“That is the only reason for this,” said Kyrgios. “I mean, is the idea of not serving where the person doesn’t get the ball? Are you trying to get an ace? “
Roger Federer also backed Kyrgios two years ago, saying the players shouldn’t be “ashamed” to try.
“Forearm is definitely a tactic, I think,” said Federer. “Especially when the boys hug the fence at the back. From this point of view [you] shouldn’t be ashamed to try it out.
“[You] just look silly when you miss it sometimes. Why not try The problem lies in the practice, you never really try it out. When you come out on the big stage in front of a full crowd [it is] difficult to pull. “
Nadal shared his opinion on the forearm serve at the French Open last year, where he criticized Mackenzie McDonald when the trick didn’t work.
“If he wins, that’s a good tactic,” said Nadal. “If he loses, that’s a bad tactic. That’s all. Today, for example, it wasn’t a good tactic for Mackenzie. “
“If you do it with the aim of improving your game or for tactical reasons, I support it 100 percent. If you do this for the disrespect of your opponent, that’s not good.
“Everyone knows internally whether you are doing it well or badly. For me there is no discussion about it. It’s part of the rules, you can do it 100 percent. It’s about yourself, whether you feel good about it or not. Depends on.”