As the Brits would say, Nick Kyrgios got a little cheeky in his second-round match against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon on Thursday.
Serving for the game down 5–2 in the first set, Kyrgios caught Nadal off guard with a soft underhand serve that Rafa had no hope of getting to.
And that wasn’t the only time he used the move to fool Nadal. Up 3–1 in the second set and once again serving for the game, Kyrgios employed the same tactic to his advantage. Rafa was more prepared this time, but still couldn’t return the serve.
Nadal, though, went on to win Thursday’s match in four sets.
The last time Kyrgios tried to trick Nadal with an underhand serve, during a match in Mexico in February that Kyrgios went on to win, it sparked a bit of a controversy.
After the match, Nadal said Kyrgios “lacked respect.” Kyrgios explained a month later in an interview on the Tennis Channel that he was just trying to win an easy point when he was fatigued.
“Especially with Rafa, I was feeling my legs and starting to cramp up so I wanted a free point at any cost,” Kyrgios said. “He was standing behind the baseline so I thought the underarm serve, try to break his rhythm a little bit. But social media took the other person’s side, but I am alright with that.”