It’s one of those things every tennis player wants to know, how fast is their serve and how does it stack up against the pros?
Well, unless you’ve got an unbelievably big serve, then it’s going to be a long way behind the fastest serves of all time, but it might not be as far behind some of the tour pros as you think.
For example, our very own TennisBro, Tom, claims to be able to hit a 128 mile an hour serve, which wouldn’t look too out of place on the tour. Of course, speed is far from the only thing that goes into a great serve, and it’s only when you combine it with consistency and placement that it really matters, but it’s always nice to know you can hit a bomb if you want to.
So now you know Tom’s fastest serve, let’s take a look at some of the fastest serves of all time from the real pros.
Fastest Men’s Tennis Serves
- Sam Groth – 163.4 mph (263 km/h)
This is just a crazy, crazy number. Imagine trying to return a 160 mph + serve, well that’s what Sam Groth’s opponent had to do back in 2012.
While Groth did indeed clock this speed, it’s not officially recognised by the ATP because of the even it was done at, but that’s just picking hairs, and Aussie, Sam Groth deserves his spot at the top of the list.
- Albano Olivetti – 160 mph (257.5km/h)
Another record serve that’s not formally recognised by the ATP but we’re happy to have on our list.
Olivetti might not be a household name – he reached a peak of 103 in the world rankings, but he sure can hit a first serve. The Frenchman measures in at 6ft 8, so he’s got height on his side, but 160 mph is still a monster of a serve.
- John Isner – 157.2 mph (253 km/h)
One man who you probably were expecting to see on this list is American, John Isner.
We regularly see him hitting bombs and holding serve deep into Grand Slam tournaments, so it’s probably not completely surprising to see him at number three on the list of fastest men’s tennis serves at 157.2 mph.
- Ivo Karlovic & Jerzy Janowicz – 156 mph (251 km/h)
Two more big men of the tennis world and ones you won’t be too surprised to see on the list.
Croat, Ivo Karlovic has been living off his massive serve for years and years, reaching a career-high ranking of number 14.
Amazingly, serve speed isn’t the only record Janowicz and Karlovic share, as they both topped out in the world rankings at number 14. While the Pole has a few more years left in him to better that, he currently finds himself much lower down in the rankings.
The Best of the Rest
- Andy Roddick & Milos Raonic – 155 mph (249.4 km/h)
8 Joachim Johansson & Feliciano Lopez – 152 mph (244.6 km/h)
- Marius Copil – 151.6 mph (244 km/h)
- Hubert Hurkacz – 151 mph (243 km/h)
- Taylor Dent – 149.8 mph (241 km/h)
- Juan Martin Del Potro – 149.1 mph (240 km/h)
- Greg Rusedski – 149 mph (239.8 km/h)
What Do the Top Guys Average?
Fastest serve is one thing, but what speeds do the top players average on any given serve? The answer isn’t that easy to find, but this ATP article gives you a good insight into what some of the top players are doing with their serves.
What’s clear is that speed is just one of many factors that make a great serve, and that average serve speeds vary depending on what area of the court the server is trying to hit.
For example, when Dominic Thiem serves out wide to the deuce court, he averages 117mph (188 kph), but when he goes down the T, he averages 121 mph (195kph).
Another important stat that speaks to the importance of placement over power is the fact that Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal all feature in the top 10 for % of service games won. These guys don’t crank out monster first serves, as each of their fastest ever serves show (remember, their averages are much lower than this too):
Roger Federer – 143 mph (230 kmh)
Novak Djokovic – 136 mph (219 kmh)
Rafael Nadal – 135 mph (217kmh)
While these guys might be capable of ramping the speeds up, it’s very rare you see them do it in a match.
Fastest Women’s Tennis Serves
- Georgina Garcia Perez – 136.7mph (220 kmh)
Spaniard, Georgina Garcia Perez smashed the women’s serving record back in 2018 with a huge 136.7 mph bomb and still holds it to this day. The tall right-hander is a strong doubles player and with such a potent serve it’s no wonder!
- Sabine Lisicki – 131 mph (210.8 kmh)
The only other woman to break the 130mph mark is Sabine Lisicki, who clocked 131 mph in the US back in 2014.
The German used her big serve to good effect back in 2013 to reach the Wimbledon final and topped out at a career-high number 12 in the world in 2012.
- Venus Williams – 129 mph (207.6 kmh)
One area where Venus slightly out-does younger sister Serena is for fastest serve where she holds the edge by just 0.7 mph.
The American has won 49 career titles including 5 Wimbledon’s and 2 US Opens. Now aged 40, Venus is still competing on the tour, but perhaps her 129 mph serving days are behind her.
- Ivana Jorovic – 129 mph (207 kmh)
Ivana Jorovic is something of a standout on this list because of her height. While the other women on the list are either over 6ft tall or very close to it, Jorovic measures in at 5ft 7”.
To almost clock a 130mph when shes giving away the best part of 5 inches in height to the other girls is extremely impressive!
The Best of the Rest
- Serena Williams – 128.3 mph (206.4 kmh)
- Julia Goerges & Caroline Garcia – 126.1 mph (203 kmh)
- Brenda Schultz-McCarthy – 126mph (202.7 kmh)
- Nadina Kichenok – 125.5mph (202 kmh)
- Naomi Osaka, Lucie Hradecka & Anna-Lena Groenfeld- 125 mph (201 kmh)
- Ana Ivanovic & Denisa Allertova – 124.9 mph (201 kmh)