The final major on the tennis calendar, the US Open always has an air of the unexpected, with potential greatness around every corner under the (literal) bright lights of Flushing.
But this year, hardcourt history was actually validated before the tournament, as German tennis star Sabine Lisicki received her official Guinness World Records certificate for the fastest tennis serve by a female.
Lisicki's record blast clocked in at 131 mph (210.8 km/h), the fastest recorded serve in the history of women’s tennis.
"It’s an honor to achieve a Guinness World Records title for the fastest serve," Lisicki said. "I’ve worked very hard on my serve from a young age, and I consider my serve a weapon. It’s great to be recognized for my hard work, and I will continue to focus on improving my serve."
Lisicki's blistering serve came July 29 during a first round match at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif. The serve came against opponent Ana Ivanovic, who was able to get a racket to the ball but returned it wide. The exact speed confirmed by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and SMT/IDS (SportsMEDIA Technology Information Display Systems).
Lisicki’s achievement broke the previous record set by American tennis star Venus Williams, who clocked a 129 mph (207.6 km/h) serve at - yep - the US Open on Aug. 27, 2007. Lisicki was presented with a certificate acknowledging her achievement by Guinness World Records representative Kimberley Partrick ahead of this year's Open.
A 2013 Wimbledon finalist and winner of three WTA events, Lisicki has been playing with the Yonex VCORE Tour racquet and Polytour Spin strings since 2012. The 24-year-old has trained at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., since the age of 14.
She entered the US Open as the No. 20 seed in the women's singles draw, and opened her tournament with a 6-3, 7-5, first-round win over Françoise Abanda. Lisicki next takes on American Madison Brengle in second round action. And who knows when her next thunderous serve might be in store.
"Sabine’s ability to serve a tennis ball at an astonishing speed of 131 mph is a truly magnificent achievement," Partrick said. "Rightly so, this has earned her the accolade of the fastest tennis serve in a female tennis match and we’re delighted to present her with her Guinness World Records certificate. In the modern game of tennis, players are hitting and serving the ball quicker than ever and, you never know, Sabine may better her own record.”
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