A serve is arguably a tennis player’s greatest weapon, and is certainly among the first tools in any elite player's arsenal.
Usually, the best serves on the tennis tour are the ones that toe the line between power and razor-like precision.
Think Novak Djokovic, having spent years honing his serving craft to ensure his pinpoint accuracy, or even the great Serena Williams, undoubtedly the greatest server in the history of the women’s game.
While there's no doubt you could call these serves ‘technically’ the best, having one of the fastest serves out there gives a player the ability to take the racquet out of the opponent’s hand, and can make the entire sport seem easier than it is.
RadioTimes.com brings you all you need to know about some of the biggest servers the game has ever seen from both the men’s and women’s games.
How fast is an average tennis serve?
The standard speeds for professional players are around 120mph (190-200 km/h) for the men, and 105mph (170-180 km/h) for the women.
Those numbers alone, on average across every serve, are enough to put us into a dizzying spin, wondering how any serve is ever returned.
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What is the fastest tennis serve ever recorded?
The quickest serve ever was reportedly hit by giant Australian Sam Groth in Busan, South Korea, in 2012 - with a serve clocking in at a mesmerising 163.7 mph (263.4 km/h).
However, this fact is contested. Groth’s serve came during a Challenger event – the step below the ATP Tour – meaning it was tracked using different equipment to Grand Slam games.
Instead, former Wimbledon semi-finalist John Isner’s 157.2 mph (253 km/h) serve in 2016 is the official fastest.
What is the fastest women's tennis serve ever?
Top of the serving tree for the women is relatively unknown Spanish player Georgina García Pérez, who slammed down a 136.7 mph (220 km/h) rocket in Hungary in 2018.
The politics of what is and isn’t recognised come into play again here as former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki holds the official title for her 131 mph (210.8 km/h) effort in 2014.
To add context, undeniable GOAT Serena Williams’s fastest serve of her career was 128.3 mph (206.4 km/h).
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