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Having a fast tennis serve doesn’t necessarily make you a better tennis player, but it can be an extremely useful weapon when you hit the court. For a lot of players, it’s more than just a party trick, as consistently hitting power serves can put your opponent under more and more pressure. Let’s dive in who has the fastest serve in tennis of all times.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the world’s fastest professional men’s and women’s tennis serves ever recorded.
What Is the Average Tennis Serve Speed?
To put all the following serve speeds into context, the average speed of a first serve is usually around 190-200 km/h (120 mph) in men’s professional tennis. For professional women’s tennis, the average speed is around 170-180 km/h (105 mph).
The Fastest Tennis Serve Ever Recorded
On May 9 2012 at the Busan Open in South Korea, Australian tennis player Sam Groth hit the world’s fastest serve ever recorded at a staggering 163.4 mph (262 km/h). He fired this bullet serve during his second-round match against Belarussian Uladzimir Ignatik.
Sadly, Groth lost the match in two-straight sets (4-6 and 3-6).
Born on October 19, 1987, Groth is rather tall and stands at 6’4”. The Australian player first went pro in 2006, and reached his career-high as 53rd in the world back in 2010.
Controversies Around the Record
There are a few controversies surrounding Sam Groth’s serve being officially recognised as the fastest ever tennis serve.
As the serve was recorded at an ITF Challenger level event, the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) doesn’t officially recognise Groth’s serve as the fastest. The ATP argues that there is a lack of uniformity in the calibration of the serve speed tracking equipment.
If we are to disregard Groth’s serve, the American John Isner holds the ATP record for the fastest serve of 253 km/h (157.2 mph) during the 2016 Davis Cup.
Regardless of whether the Busan Open serve counts, Groth has proved on larger stages that his record-breaking serve wasn’t a fluke. In a 2015 Wimbledon match against Roger Federer, Groth hit a 236.6 km/h (147 mph) serve.
Fastest Women’s Serve Ever Recorded
Back in the 2018 Hungarian Open, Spanish player Georgina Garcia Pérez hit an astonishing 220 km/h (136.7 mph) serve. The Spaniard blew the previous record, held by German player Sabine Lisicki, out of the water, smashing her serve speed by 10 km/h.
Following Garcia Pérez’s record breaker, in the same year during the WTA Elite Trophy, Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka hit the second fastest women’s serve ever recorded at 214 km/h (133 mph).
Top 10 Fastest Male Recorded Serves (ATP)
Note: Only one service per player is recorded.
- Sam Groth / Australia / 2012 Busan Open / 263 km/h (163.4 mph)
- Albano Olivetti / France / 2012 Internazionali Trofeo Lame Perrel-Faip / 257.5 km/h (160 mph)
- Josh Isner / USA / 2016 Davis Cup / 253 km/h (157.2 mph)
- Ivo Karlović / Croatia / 2011 Davis Cup / 251 km/h (156 mph)
Jerzy Janowicz / Poland / 2012 Pekao Szczecin Open / 251 km/h (156 mph)
- Milos Raonic / Canada / 2012 Rogers Cup / 250 km/h (155.3 mph)
- Andy Roddick / USA / 2004 Davis Cup / 249.4 km/h (155 mph)
- Joachim Johansson / Sweden / 2004 Davis Cup / 244.6 km/h (152 mph)
Feliciano López / Spain / 2014 Aegon Championships / 244.6 km/h (152 mph)
- Marius Copil / Romania / 2016 European Open / 244 km/h (151.6 mph)
- Hubert Hurkacz / Poland / 2016 Davis Cup / 243 km/h (151 mph)
- Taylor Dent / USA / 2006 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament / 241 km/h (149.8 mph)
Top 10 Fastest Female Recorded Serves (WTA)
Note: Only one service per player is recorded.
- Georgina Garcia Pérez / Spain / 2018 Hungarian Ladies Open / 220 km/h (136.7 mph)
- Aryna Sabalenka / Belarus / 2019 WTA Elite Trophy / 214 km/h (133 mph)
- Sabine Lisicki / Germany / 2014 Stanford Classic / 210.8 km/h (131 mph)
- Brenda Schultz-McCarthy / Netherlands / 2006 Cincinnati Masters (qualifiers) / 209.2 km/h (130 mph)
- Venus Williams / USA / 2007 US Open / 207.6 km/h (129 mph)
- Serena Williams / USA / 2013 Australian Open / 207 km/h (128.6 mph)
Ivana Jorović / Serbia / 2017 Fed Cup / 207 km/h (128.6 mph)
- Julia Gӧrges / Germany / 2012 French Open / 203 km/h (126.1 mph)
Carolina Garcia / France / 2016 Fed Cup / 203 km/h (126.1 mph)
- Nadiya Kichenok / Ukraine / 2014 Australian Open / 202 km/h (125.5 mph)
- Naomi Osaka / Japan / 2016 US Open / 201.2 km/h (125 mph)
Lucie Hradecká / Czech Republic / 2015 Wimbledon / 201.2 km/h (125 mph)
- Anna-Lena Grönefeld / Germany / 2009 Indian Wells Masters / 201.1 km/h (124.9 mph)
What Is the Fastest Serve Ever Recorded at Wimbledon?
Wimbledon is one of the most famous tennis tournaments in the world, and it is every player’s dream to lift the trophy, but who holds the record for the fastest Wimbledon serve?
In 2010, American Taylor Dent hit a 238.2 km/h (148 mph) serve. Interestingly, this is not Dent’s fastest serve. At the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in 2006, the American hit a 241 km/h (149.8 mph) serve.
What Is the Fastest Serve Ever Recorded at the Australian Open?
Like Wimbledon, the Australian Open is also one of the biggest tennis tournaments. Back in 2015, Romanian player Marius Copil hit the fastest serve ever recorded at the competition at a speed of 242 km/h (150 mph). Similarly, this is not Copil’s fastest serve, which is 244 km/h (151.6 mph) which he hit at the 2016 European Open.
What Is the Fastest Serve That Was Ever Returned?
If you’ve ever watched a tennis player hit a supersonic serve, you know how often their opponents struggle to return the ball. More often than not, the player serving wins the point.
However, in the 2004 Davis Cup, a 244.6 km/h (152 mph) serve hit by Swedish player Jonas Bjorkman shocked onlookers as fellow powerhouse server Andy Roddick returned the serve, earning himself the match point.