Andy Murray defended his use of an armpit serve by defeating rising star Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets at Indian Wells.
The 34-year-old turned the years back with a brilliant 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win in a three-hour game in California as he showed he was not yet ready to surrender to the next generation of tennis.
Murray’s cheeky serve underarm worked against Alcaraz
Murray beat the 18-year-old in straight sets at Indian Wells
But the British tennis legend has faced taunts from the crowd for one of his tactics to help turn the tide.
Alcaraz, 18, burst onto the US Open scene reaching the quarter-finals and overcame a slow start to win the first set against Murray.
The three-time Grand Slam winner used every tip in the book to change the momentum of the game, including a daring serve underarm to maintain his serve early in the second set.
The move drew cheers from the crowd, as well as a handful of boos, and effectively changed the momentum.
Murray defended his use of tactics as a “smart game” after taking the win.
ACE UNDER THE ARMS ? @ andy_murray # BNPPO21 pic.twitter.com/PjJCfrlHHd
– Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 10, 2021
He said: “If you look at where he was at the start of the game to return the first serve in comparison… he changed that at the end of the first set.
“He started coming back from further away, so it was even more difficult to get free points on the serve.
“I thought if he was going to stand that far and I don’t get any love for the terrain and the conditions – the terrains are painfully slow here – why not give it a try and see if I can get him a little bit forward again?”
“I obviously didn’t expect to make an ace out of it. He was so far away that he obviously hadn’t reacted. I did not expect that.
Murray defended his use of an underarm serve
“I thought I would use it sometimes in the third set, but obviously in the score I was doing a little better, I didn’t need it.
“Certainly when the guys are there to return the serve now, it’s a smart game.
“It’s my first time doing it in a game and I got the ace. I served three aces the entire game and one of them was serve underarm.
“So maybe I’ll try again in the future if the guys stand that far.”
Alcaraz was just two years old when Murray made his first appearance at Indian Wells and used all that experience to win his second round match.
He now faces a tough test in the third round against No.3 seed and Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev.
Murray needed three sets to beat Alcaraz
It has been an eventful week for Murray in California as he has gone viral for losing his wedding ring under unusual circumstances.
He left his shoes to dry under his car overnight, forgetting that his wedding ring was attached to them.
The shoes were stolen, but then returned following his plea on social media.
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