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Bublik goes underarm serve crazy

The Kazakh played seven underarm serves in a single game against Lorenzo Sonego in Eastbourne on Thursday

Alexander Bublik Alexander Bublik AI / REUTERS / PANORAMIC

The secret of the underarm serve is all in the disguise, its unpredictability as much a weapon as the shot itself.

Alexander Bublik is the king of unpredictability and the king of the underarm serve, but on Thursday at the Viking International in Eastbourne, he took it to an all-new level, hitting seven – yes, seven – underarm serves in a single game.

Bublik was trailing Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 6-1, 4-2 in their quarter-final when he decided enough was enough and started pulling out underarm serve after underarm serve, without a good result.

He lost the first six attempts, prompting him to say to the crowd: “I’m going to keep doing this until I win the point,” Bublik said, finally winning on his seventh attempt, raising his arms to the crowd when he put away a backhand volley for a winner.

Earlier, Bublik had tried an even more audacious shot, an underarm serve from between his legs.

The incident sparked a brief Bublik fightback but Sonego didn’t let it bother him, completing a 6-1, 7-5 victory to take his place in the semi-finals.

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