Best Serve in Tennis - Men
In modern tennis, the serve has become increasingly important as players look to gain the upper hand at the very start of each point. The list below shows the five players who I think have the best serve in tennis.
5 - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
The flamboyant Frenchman makes the list at number five. He has an extremely powerful all-round game and has a huge serve. He has the ability to rattle through service games in no time, putting the pressure right back on his opponents. His serve has helped him beat all of the "Big Four" in grand slams (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray), one of the few players to do so.
4 - Marin Cilic
Cilic deserves his place in the top five after his incredible serving performances at the US Open this year where he won his first grand slam.This time last year he would not have made my shortlist (apart from the fact he was serving a drugs ban) but the influence and impact of new coach Goran Ivanisevic has been immense, improving his serve and game as a whole.
His serve looked virtually unbreakable at Flushing Meadows and he has the ability to hit a high bouncing kick serve which is extremely tough to deal with, even on second serve. In the final against Kei Nishikori he lost only nine points on his first serve in the entire match, winning a game with four straight aces in the process of closing out the match.
3 - Milos Raonic
The young Canadian has risen up the ranking very quickly and that has been largely thanks to his booming serve. Since 2012 only John Isner has hit as many aces as Raonic. After narrowly defeating Raonic in Rome this year, world number one Novak Djokovic said “I can’t recall the last time I was feeling so helpless returning. Even his second serve.”
The world number six throws the ball in the same way whether he is going for a flat serve or a kick serve and that's what makes his serve to hard to read and return. He continues to improve in all aspects of his game, even his serve, which spells trouble for his rivals.
2 - Ivo Karlovic
The Croat is regarded by many as the greatest server of all time. He holds the record for total number of aces and in one match alone in 2009 he hit an incredible 78 aces.
His game is very much one dimensional and his serve alone has won him millions in prize money.He still holds the official world record for the fastest ever serve at 156mph, set in 2011.
1 - John Isner
It may come as a surprise to some that I have put John Isner ahead of the likes of Karlovic. However, not only does Isner have an incredible first serve, he has the best second serve in the game and that for me gives him the edge over the rest of the players on this list.
Andy Murray commented this year: "He serves huge first serves but the difference between him and the other guys is the second serve. Maybe Karlovic gets a few more aces with his first serve because he serves and volleys more and has the momentum going forward a little bit, but second serve and overall I would say that John’s is the best.”
The American world no. 15 stands at a towering six foot ten inches and can hit every serve in the book. And with the ball coming down from such a great height it makes it even harder for opponents to return. He leads the important serving statistics this year and I believe his serve will go down as the best ever by the time his career ends.