Best Tennis Servers of All Time

This article will look at who are considered the best tennis servers of all time.

The below list is based on how effective the player’s serve was in terms of helping them win the biggest tournaments like grand slams and not necessarily the player with the most aces or fastest speed.

Therefore notable servers like John Isner and Ivo Karlovic have not been included in the list as they haven’t won any grand slam tournaments.

Best Tennis Servers of All Time

Five Best Tennis Servers of All Time

1. Roger Federer

Roger Federer is proof that you don’t need the fastest speed to have a very effective serve.

What made Roger Federer’s serve so effective is that it was very difficult for his opponents to read as he uses the same ball toss location regardless of whether he was hitting it flat, slicing it, or hitting it with heavy topspin.

Federer’s average first serve speed is around 200km/h (124mph) and he has won an average of 90% of his service games throughout his career.

Federer’s fastest recorded serve was 230km/h (143mph) which he hit at the 2010 Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.

At the time of writing this article, Federer had hit a total of 11,478 over the 1,462 matches he has played in his career, which works out at an average of just under 8 aces per match.

Federer’s serve was a major strength of his game and it is especially effective on grass and hard courts.

Therefore it is no surprise that 19 out of the 20 grand slams that Federer has won have been on these surfaces.

2. Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras is regarded as one of the most accurate servers of all time which earned him the nickname “Pistol Pete”.

Sampras not only had a good first serve but his second serve was also incredibly effective, with many of Sampras’s opponents feeling like he had two first serves as his second was that good.

Similar to Roger Federer, Sampras was most effective on the grass at Wimbledon with seven of his fourteen grand slams being won at Wimbledon.

Sampras’s fastest recorded serve was 207 km/h (129mph) which he hit against Goran Invanesvic at the semi-finals of the 1995 Wimbledon Championships.

3. Boris Becker

Boris Becker’s fast and accurate serve earned him nicknames such as Baron von Slam, Boom Boom, and Der Bomber.

It was also a big factor in Boris becoming the first unseeded player and German to win the Wimbledon singles title in 1985.

Like many players with good serves, Becker’s best performances were on fast grass and hard courts with him winning three Wimbledon singles titles, two Australian Opens, and one US Open.

4. Novak Djokovic

At the beginning of his career, Djokovic’s serve was not one of his strengths so around 2011 he made some changes to his service motion and since then he has gone from strength to strength.

Although his serve isn’t the fastest on tour, it is still very effective and consistent.

To date, Djokovic has won over 80% of his service games, has hit over 6,000 aces, and has an average of around five aces per match.

5. Andy Roddick

If it wasn’t for the fact that Andy Roddick played in the era of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, his serve would definitely have led to him winning more than the one grand slam he ended up with (2003 US Open).

Andy Roddick’s fastest recorded serve was 155mph (249.4km/h) which he hit at a 2004 Davis Cup semi-final match between the US and Belarus.

Andy Roddick hit a total of 9,067 aces throughout his career which is an average of just under 12 aces per match.

Roddick’s sole grand slam win came at the 2003 US Open where he beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets.

His serve also helped him reach three Wimbledon singles finals in 2004, 2005, and 2009 where he lost to Roger Federer each time.