Is it ‘underhanded’ to serve underhanded? I just had that done to me in a doubles match; and also saw it at the Paris Masters on Tennis Channel. And am not sure what I think of the tactic.
The match on TV was between two lower ranked players during the deciding third set tie breaker. Hanescu, the server, was down 1-5 in the breaker and surprised his opponent with an underhanded serve.
Hanescu did win the point; but lost the breaker, and the match. And the British announcer commented that he thought the underhand serve was “cheeky”… but then went on to bring back Chang vs. Lendl in the French.
While it is a surprise tactic, is it any more “cheeky” than hitting a drop shot during a long baseline rally, drop shotting on a return of serve, or lobbing your opponent when they are tight to the net?
I think, as long as you aren’t “quick served,” the underhanded serve is a legit tactic.
Related to that, how many drop shots are “too many”? Many senior players have excellent drop shots and employ them tactically during a match. But while there is no “magic number,” sometimes the tactic can get overused to the point where the match is no longer “fun.” Or, should that count for anything?