Roger Federer explains why criticism of Nick Kyrgios' underarm serve was harsh

Telcel ATP Mexican Open 2019 - Day 3

Nick Kyrgios caused uproar Wednesday night when during his match with Rafael Nadal, when he cheekily tried an underarm serve catch the Spaniard off guard, but Swiss great Roger Federer has now defended the tactic as the world turns on Kyrgios once more. 

Kyrgios pulled the move about halfway through the match on Tuesday night, as Nadal characteristically hugged the back of the court. 

Attempting to catch the Spaniard out, he served the ball underarm to drop the ball just over the net and out of reach of his opponent.

The move came on the way to the Australian's shock victory 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6).

Much of the tennis world considered the effort an attempt to rile up the former world number one Nadal and the Spaniard himself even slated Kyrgios for it. 

But the Australian replied to the claim saying "I mean isn’t the idea to serve where the person can’t get the ball? Try to get an ace?"

The sentiment was echoed by Roger Federer following his quarter-final success over Martin Fucsovics.

"Underarm is definitely a tactic, I believe," said the Swiss great, per the Metro.

Telcel ATP Mexican Open 2019 - Day 3

"From that standpoint, [you] shouldn’t be ashamed if you try it out.

"[You] just look silly if you miss it sometimes. Why not try it? The problem is in practice, you never really try it. When you come out in the big stage in front of a full crowd, [it is] tricky to pull off."

Even with the support of Federer, Kyrgios will still come under scrutiny after his win.

Attempts to make a show of the match by cupping his ear to the crowd and being accused of feigning an injury to delay the game will not go down well with the fans. 


As Nadal accurately pointed out after their match on Tuesday: "He's a player who has the talent to win Grand Slams - a player who can fight for the top rankings, but there's a reason he is where he is."

With the ability he has Kyrgios might want to focus his attention on clever tactics and less on riling fans if he wants to match the dizzy heights of his natural talent. 

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