Serena Williams is known for being one of the greatest tennis players, if not the greatest, of all time. Having gone pro when she was a teenager, the tennis champion has 23 Grand Slam singles titles, numerous sponsors and a veritable fortune in prize money, and is a force to be reckoned with on the court, which might leave fans wondering just how fast is Williams’ top serve speed?
Serena Williams’ top serve speed is 128.3 mph. The serve took place at the Australian Open in 2013, against Ayumi Morita. Though Williams won the match against Morita, she did not walk away the top champion of the tournament, coming in third behind Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharpova.
Read more below about Serena Williams’ career, what serve speed is and why it matters, and which person close to Serena has a higher top serve speed than the tennis titan.
Toddler Training to Tennis Titan
Serena Williams has spent most of her childhood and her adult life on the tennis courts. Williams began training when she was 3-years old and was played her first professional match by the time she was in her mid-teens, with the family living in Compton, California where she and her sister, Venus, were trained by their father, and then finally moving to Florida, where Serena trained with world-renowned tennis coach, Rick Macci.
Both Serena and her sister are considered to have changed the game of tennis with their style of playing. The sisters’ size and strength made them a force to be reckoned with and in an opinion piece for Bleacher Report, JR Allen wrote, “Their stinging serves alongside potent ground strokes ushered in an era of power players to which women’s tennis had never seen before.”
Serves and Scores
A serve in tennis, for those unaware, is a shot to start a point. Though difficult for a beginner, it’s an important move to learn, as it is the only shot where the player has complete control, with all other shots being made in reaction to the player’s opponent.
There are four types of serves in tennis, each with varying levels of complexity to learn, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Though Williams uses all four serves, she is often able to keep her opponent guessing, with The New Yorker writing, “Even most very good servers indicate with their toss what kind of serve is coming: out front for a flat serve, out wide a bit toward the racquet-hand side for a slice, above the crown of the head for a topspin kick serve. When Williams is playing her best, her toss is in precisely the same place for all her serves.”
Serena’s Spectacular Serve Speed
Serve speed is measured with a radar gun, which tracks the ball’s velocity as it loses contact with the tennis racquet. The faster the serve, the harder it is for an opponent to react and return the serve, making it more likely that the player will win the point outright.
Serena Williams’ average serve speed is about 105 mph, making her faster than most other female professional tennis players. Compared to a recreational player who might serve at 70 mph, Williams’ serves are insanely fast and insanely powerful.
During the Australian Open in 2013, Williams hit the best serve speed of her career, clocking in at 128.3 mph and creating a media frenzy. Not only was it the best serve speed of her career, but it remains the third best serve speed in women’s tennis of all time.
You can watch Serena Williams’ jaw-dropping, career-defining serve at the 2013 Australian Open in the YouTube video below.
Despite the intensity of that serve, Serena still trails one spot behind her older sister, Venus, who holds the second best serve speed record for female tennis players. Venus has reached a serve speed of 129 mph twice in her career, making her an equally indomitable force on the tennis court.
Though Serena Williams may never beat her sister’s serve speed record, her impressive feat will go down in history as one of the many impressive accomplishments of her career.