2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki lost her first round match to Ana Ivanovic on Tuesday at the Bank of the West Classic tournament. The loss did not come without a career highlight for the 24-year old German. At 5-5, 40-30 in the first set, Lisicki launched the fastest serve in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association. The ball clocked in at 131mph, beating Venus Williams’ previous record of 129mph set at the 2007 US Open. Ivanovic made a decent play on the blistering serve, but her return did sail wide. Currently ranked 11th in the world, the Serbian went on to win the match in straight sets 7-6(2), 6-1.
To put this record into perspective, 13-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal, who is considered by many to be the greatest mens player of all time, has an average serve speed of approximately 108mph. The number one ranked mens player in the world Novak Djokovic won the Wimbledon Championship last month with an average serve speed of 107mph, his fastest of the tournament was 124mph.
Lisicki has won 3 WTA singles titles and is known for her infectious smile and often calm demeanour on the court. The 29th ranked player in the world will leave California much earlier than she would have hoped but she will surely take comfort in the fact that she set a place for herself in the WTA record books.