Qualified for the third round of Australian Open after surviving a nosebleed, Russian Daniil Medvedev gave his opinion on the underarm serve and backed up Nick Kyrgios, a frequent user of this kind of serve, in the dispute he had with Nadal over it in 2019.
Medvedev flew past Spaniard Martinez in three sets while getting past a nosebleed and surviving an unsuccessful underarm serve from his opponent. Asked about the particular type of serve, Nick Kyrgios was the first one to come in Medvedev’s mind.
“You know, sometimes when Nick started doing it, people were, like, 'It's disrespectful for me', it's not for me. It's one of the shots which he can use good sometimes, Nick. We saw some players do it last year when they're tight, because, well, it's easy to put the ball in like this.
Especially on clay I think it can be tough to return. You just need to be ready for it sometimes and try to win the point”. said Medvedev. The underarm serve practiced by Nick Kyrgios in many of his matches was one of the main reasons why Rafael Nadal categorized him as “disrespectful”.
"He is a player who has huge talent, who could be winning Grand Slams or fighting for first position in the rankings. He lacks respect for the public, the opponent and himself." Rafael Nadal said after he lost against Kyrgios at the Mexican Open in Acapulco.
Regarding his willingness to use underarm serves, Medvedev pointed out he has more confidence in the traditional way of serving. “I tried some of them in practice, but I’m confident in myself even if I don’t put it in, I’m confident that I can make an ace.
If I’m 15/40 down, I would better try to make two aces than just try to distract my opponent with an underarm serve”. Daniil Medvedev concluded.