Nick Kyrgios' underarm serves are genius, says Judy Murray
By Benjamin Lang
Last Updated: 26/03/19 3:34pm
Nick Kyrgios has been labelled a "genius" by Judy Murray despite his underarm serves sparking controversy at the Miami Open on Monday.
The Australian performed the serve twice during his round-of-32 clash with Dusan Lajovic, which Kyrgios went on to win 6-3 6-1.
The unorthodox tactic saw Kyrgios gently flick the ball over the net to gain an advantage while his opponent stood comfortably behind the baseline.
His first attempt scored an ace to move him 4-1 up in the first set, but Lajovic managed to return Kyrgios' second underarm effort. The world No 33 then responded by flicking it beyond the Serb to seal the opening set.
"The underarm serve," said Murray to her Twitter followers, alongside a heart emoji.
"The whole point of tennis competition is to disrupt your opponents' game by applying pressure through changing the speed, spin, direction, depth or height of the ball. And that includes the serve.
"Kyrgios is a genius. I'm surprised more players don't do it."
Not many people understand genius or know what to do with it so they try to get genius to conform to something they do understand. Kyrgios has uncanny instinct +vision. He’s unpredictable + has phenomenal creativity + hand skills. Yes he’s mentally inconsistent but he’s a genius. https://t.co/qKWSfCweYI— judy murray (@JudyMurray) March 25, 2019
Belgian tennis player Kirsten Flipkens expressed her agreement with Murray's comments, while some Twitter users objected to Kyrgios' "genius" tag. However, the former Great Britain Fed Cup captain went on to defend her stance further.
"He has uncanny instinct and vision," she said. "He's unpredictable and his hand skills are phenomenal.
"Yes he's inconsistent mentally but he's still a genius in my eyes."
This is not the first time Kyrgios' serving method has provoked debate after he made similar headlines during his victory over Rafael Nadal in February.
Kyrgios caught the Spaniard out with the same underarm serve during their Mexican Open encounter last month and Nadal responded by claiming his opponent "lacked respect".
The serve's comeback in Miami has now reignited the conversation, and Kyrgios will look to silence his critics when he resumes his Miami Open campaign against Borna Coric on Tuesday evening.