The Fastest Serves in Tennis History


Sam Groth pic

Sam Groth

Allen Fitzsimmons of Belchertown, MA, is the owner of Talon Furniture Gallery and chief executive officer of Transitioning Forward, an organization specializing in asset appraisal and other aspects of estate settlements. When he is not working, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys playing tennis. He has played competitively and has spent a decade as a certified teaching pro.

In 2014, German Sabine Lisicki set the all-time record for fastest serve in a women’s tennis match. Competing against Ana Ivanovic at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Lisicki struck a 131-mile-per-hour serve, besting the previous record, set by Venus Williams seven years earlier, by 2 miles per hour. Ivanovic got a racket on the ball, preventing Lisicki from hitting an outright ace, but could not return the serve. However, the 2008 French Open champion ultimately prevailed over the new world record holder by a score of 7-6, 6-1. Other female record holders include Serena Williams at 128.6 miles per hour, Julia Gorges at 126.1, and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy at 126.

On the men’s side, the record for fastest serve belongs to Sam Groth of Australia. Groth set the all-time service speed record at a challenger event in Busan, with a delivery clocking in at 163.7 miles per hour. It should be noted that the Australian’s impressive serve is not officially recognized by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which attributes the record to a 157-mile-per-hour serve by American John Isner. Isner set the record in a four-set Davis Cup match against Bernard Tomic in which he recorded 49 aces and no double faults.