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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Andy Murray in a career-first underarm serve on way to victory over Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz

“Like at the US Open, my body did well today,” said Murray, who had pushed world No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas all the way in a 4hr 49min barn-burner in New York six weeks ago. 

“It was hard conditions. It was very hot. Because of the nature of the court here, you’re going to play some long rallies, especially against a player like him.

“Yeah, at times I played some really good tennis,” added Murray. “It wasn’t my best match. I can certainly still do things better. I thought I competed well today, which was probably the most pleasing part for me.”

Murray will go again on Tuesday against world No. 4 Alexander Zverev, a man he has beaten in both their previous meetings. 

“I’m looking forward to playing him,” said Zverev, after his own win over the USA’s Jenson Brooksby. “I mean, he’s the only one out of the big four I haven’t beaten yet. I hope I can change that after tomorrow.”

Underhand or ingenious?

Underarm serve 

Despicably snide when performed by Nick Kyrgios but impishly clever when successfully carried off by a knight of the realm. To be fair to Sir Andy Murray, his mother, Judy, has always condoned Kyrgios’ use of it.
Controversy rating: 3/5

Mankad

Splits the world into bowlers and batters – those who think it a ghastly act contrary to the spirit of cricket tend to be willow wielders while some bowlers consider the ends (running out someone for blatantly cheating while backing up too far) justify the means.
Rating: 4/5

Underarm bowling

Outlawed in one-day cricket since Trevor Chappell, on the instructions of his brother Greg, sent down a pea-roller for Australia when New Zealand required six to tie off the last ball of an ODI in 1981. Sparked a diplomatic incident and much Australian hand-wringing.
Rating: 5/5

Corking a bat

Nefarious baseball practice of drilling a six-inch hole in a solid wood bat and filling it with cork or sawdust to quicken the hitter’s swing. Albert Belle, Chris Sabo and Sammy Sosa are among a handful of players caught and suspended for cheating with corked bats.
Rating: 5/5

Diving for the line

Shaunae Miller won 400m Olympic gold at Rio in 2016 for the Bahamas by throwing herself off her feet instead of dipping and thus pipping Alyson Felix by 0.07sec. Ungainly and unorthodox but not illegal… and it hurts.
Rating: 2/5

Refusing to ruck

Cannon fodder Italy astonished England in the 2017 Six Nations by refusing to form rucks after they had been tackled, allowing their players to stand in what looked like, but were not, offside positions because the only offside line is directly around the tackle area. Led 10-5 at half-time before England worked out how to counter it. The practice was banned soon after.
Rating: 4/5

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