ATP Tour

Kyrgios serves underarm, collapses to meek Round 1 exit

Nick Kyrgios (Supplied)
Nick Kyrgios (Supplied)

Zhuhai - Nick Kyrgios served underarm once again but the fiery Australian fell away dramatically in the second set in a limp first-round exit at the Zhuhai Championships on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Australian, who has been accused of tanking matches in the past, led the veteran Italian Andreas Seppi 4-1 in the first set, only to go down 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.

Kyrgios, who has had numerous run-ins with tennis authorities down the years, elicited a few giggles from a sparse crowd in southern China with an underarm serve in the first set.

Coasting 3-1 and 40-0 up, the 27th-ranked Kyrgios served weakly into the net, before surging into a 4-1 lead.

But the Australian, who then appeared to be troubled by his right shoulder, faded alarmingly from there and his previously dominant serve collapsed.

He repeatedly felt his shoulder and his game disintegrated as he went down in the first-set tie break.

The second set was a non-contest as Seppi, 35, ranked 74th in the world, strolled into round two in 65 unpredictable minutes.

Kyrgios has divided tennis by serving underarm in the past, although it is within the rules, albeit rare to see from professionals.

The Australian firebrand says he deploys it for tactical reasons, but Spanish legend Rafael Nadal accused him of "lacking respect" by doing it.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Kings XI Punjab 167/5
Delhi Capitals 164/5
loading... Live
Dynamo Kiev 0
Juventus 0
loading... Live
Zenit St. Petersburg 0
Club Brugge 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8746 votes
Cricket
11% - 2220 votes
Football
19% - 3998 votes
Athletics
2% - 511 votes
Boxing
1% - 186 votes
Cycling
2% - 482 votes
Golf
5% - 1021 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1766 votes
Tennis
3% - 711 votes
Water sports
1% - 195 votes
American sports
1% - 256 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 650 votes
Vote