It was cheeky, it was sneaky and it was downright genius. It was also technically against the rules but we'll ignore that for the moment.
Bernard Tomic beat Nick Kyrgios in The Kooyong Classic, pre-Australian Open exhibition tournament, this morning in a manner that has rarely been seen in the history of tennis. Leading, 40-15 in the second set and serving for the match, Tomic produced a match-winning serve from between his legs. Underhanded in every sense of the word.
The Australian was holding one ball in his hand, while bouncing another in an unremarkable fashion, until suddenly he caught the ball on the rise and flicked it between his legs. It barely registered with anyone, including Kyrgios, until the ball went dead and the umpire gave a laugh, before declaring the point and match to Tomic.
Technically, however, it would appear that the serve should have been ruled as a fault. As cited by The Gaurdian, the IFT rule book states that "The server shall then release the ball by hand in any direction and hit the ball with the racket before it hits the ground." Tomic bounced the ball before striking.
While it was audacious, it also wasn't appreciated by all of the locals, with some accusing the Australian pair of not taking their first ever match against each other seriously. Speaking afterwards, Kyrgios appeared to have an unbothered attitude to the point and the match.
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) January 9, 2019