Last week on Tennis.com, we ranked the Top 10 fastest servers in men’s tennis, and this week it’s the women’s turn—all according to the most complete data from SportsMEDIA Technology (SMT).
So who are the 10 fastest servers in women’s tennis? Let’s start the countdown.
No. 10: Anna-Lena Groenefeld (201.1kph/125.0mph)
Kicking off the list is the 5’ 11” German, who hit a 125-m.p.h. serve at Indian Wells in 2009 but fell to Amelie Mauresmo in the second round, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. Groenefeld, who retired at the end of 2019, was an excellent singles player. She peaked at No. 14, but she found even more success in doubles, going as high as No. 7.
No. 8 (tied): Naomi Osaka and Lucie Hradecka (201.2kph/125.0mph)
Just faster than Groenefeld by .1 k.p.h. are Osaka and Hradecka. The Czech cracked her massive rocket on her very last serve of a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Agnieszka Radwasnka in the first round of Wimbledon in 2015, while the Japanese star delivered hers at the 2016 US Open, where she lost to Madison Keys in a third-round thriller on Arthur Ashe Stadium, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3).
No. 7: Nadiia Kichenok (202.0kph/125.5mph)
The Ukrainian hit a 125.5-m.p.h. serve against Ayumi Morita in the first round of the 2014 Australian Open but lost the match, 6-2, 7-6 (5). Kichenok is probably best known for her doubles results with twin sister Lyudmyla—the only twins other than the Pliskovas to win a WTA doubles title together.
No. 6: Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (202.7kph/126.0mph)
The Dutchwoman was the original huge server on the women’s tour in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Yet, it was during the former No. 9’s three-year return to the tour in the mid-2000s when she achieved her top speed of 126 m.p.h, doing it twice in 2007 in Indian Wells and Cincinnati.
No. 5: Julia Goerges (203.0kph/126.1mph)
The 31-year-old German can crank her serve, getting up to 126.1 m.p.h. in her 7-6 (1), 6-4 win over Hradecka in the first round of Roland Garros in 2012. She was also the WTA’s ace leader in 2018, the only player in the last five years to break through Karolina Pliskova’s stranglehold on that stat.
No. 4: Serena Williams (207.0kph/128.6mph)
The 23-time Grand Slam champion didn’t just hit one 128.6-mile-an-hour serve at the 2013 Australian Open—she hit two of them.
The first one came as she was serving out a 6-2, 6-0 second-round win over Garbine Muguruza, who was just coming up at the time. She was asked afterwards if it was the fastest serve of her career.
“It’s my fastest that went in,” she said. “I’ve hit some 150s, but of course they’re, like, to the sky.”
The American served her second at 5-1, 30-0 in the third round against Morita, drawing cheers from the crowd. She eventually won that match, 6-1, 6-3.
No. 2 (tied): Venus Williams and Ajla Tomljanovic (207.6kph/129.0mph)
Venus has reached back to clock 129 m.p.h. twice in her career, first during her 6-2, 6-1 first-round win over Kira Nagy in the first round of the 2007 US Open, and then again during her 7-5, 6-4 win over sister Serena in the 2008 Wimbledon final. Tomljanovic matched that serve speed at Cincinnati in 2008, where she eventually fell to Simona Halep in a clash played over two days, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
For Venus, the first instance came as a complete surprise to her.
“I didn’t realize it. I was so excited because I wasn’t even trying for it,” the seven-time major champion said. “It just comes. Even when I say, ‘Okay, I’m going to hit a half pace with placement,’ it comes 120. That’s just how it comes. I wasn’t even trying for it. I wasn’t expecting to do that at all.
“I guess I’ve got to try for one more, 130.”
No. 1: Sabine Lisicki (210.8kph/131.0mph)
The German served up a record-breaking 131-m.p.h. missile at 5-all, 40-30 in the first set of her match against Ana Ivanovic in the first round of 2014 Stanford, and though Lisicki ended up losing that day, 7-6 (2), 6-1, she looked at the bright side afterwards.
“Well, at least I broke the world record for fastest serve,” she tweeted.
Ivanovic was asked about the serve in her on-court interview.
“Piece of cake,” she said. “Just kidding. It hurt my hand.”
The ATP, WTA and ITF don’t keep official serve speed rankings for a variety reasons—serve speed isn’t captured on every court at every tournament, and sometimes the technology being used isn’t consistent from event to event. But the most complete data belongs to SportsMEDIA Technology, or SMT, who have been tracking serve speeds with the best technology for more than 30 years.