Bernard Tomic suggests he deserves some credit for the underarm serve becoming a trend in recent years. At the 2019 Kooyong Classic, Tomic pulled off a successful underarm serve on a match against Nick Kyrgios. In recent years, more and more players have been turning to the underarm serve as many see it now as a dangerous weapon in certain moments.
On his Instagram Story, Tomic shared a video from the 2019 Kooyong Classic and captioned it: “I started this s—.” [embedded content]
Tomic thinks he started the underarm serve trend
The underarm serve has its admirers but also its opponents.
While some believe the underarm serve can be a great tool, some believe it is not classy and should be used on pro level. Last year, Andy Murray pulled off an underarm serve during one of his Wimbledon matches. When Murray did it, it drew lots of attention.
Afterward, Murray explained why he believes that the underarm serve is not disrespectful to the opponent or the game. “I personally have no issue with players using it. I never have. Certainly more and more players have started returning from further behind the baseline now to give themselves an advantage to return.
No one says it’s disrespectful for someone to return from five or six 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’
I don’t know why people have ever found it potentially disrespectful or, I don’t know. I’ve never understood that. It’s a legitimate way of serving. If they stand four or five meters 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,” Murray said last summer.