Leading coach ranks the top 5 serves in tennis history, ft. Nick Kyrgios and Pete Sampras

Ewan West
John Isner serving
John Isner serves

Patrick Mouratoglou has named the five ATP players he believes are the greatest servers in tennis history and featured both legend Pete Sampras and maverick Nick Kyrgios on his list. 

The renowned coach also included American John Isner and Croatian duo Goran Ivanisevic and Ivo Karlovic, with Kyrgios the only active player he picked.

Mouratoglou, who coaches at his Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, has worked with a host of current and retired tennis stars, including Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Coco Gauff, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Holger Rune, Marcos Baghdatis, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Grigor Dimitrov and Laura Robson.

In a post shared on his Instagram account, Mouratoglou ranked his top five serves and broke down what makes each of these deliveries so great. In the video, the Frenchman focused on the serve of 2001 Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic, who is now Novak Djokovic’s coach.

5. Goran Ivanisevic

“When he (Ivanisevic) emerged as a young gun on tour in the 90s, he was one of the players that forced the decision of the ATP to slower the surfaces. He was scoring an incredible number of aces and serve winners at every single match when he was on court.

“The Croatian was lefty, making his serve even more difficult to return, especially when he was slicing it with a huge amount of spin, turning in the opposite direction of the righties.

“He was due to win Wimbledon one day thanks to this weapon. He finally won it in 2001. And guess what? It was the last edition before the tournament decided to change the type of grass to encourage more rallies. He is definitely part of the five best servers in the history.”

4. Pete Sampras

“Despite his height of less than two metres, Pete’s serve is widely recognised as one of the most exceptional in tennis history. Renowned for his precision, he could consistently hit extremely small targets with remarkable accuracy.

“His flawless toss further added an element of unpredictability for his opponents. Undoubtedly, he rightfully holds a place among the elite servers in the sport’s history.”

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3. Ivo Karlovic

“The 2.08m Croatian giant is one of the best servers in history. Ivo Karlovic capable of sending bombs while finding excellent angles. He holds the ace record in a two-set match: 44! As well as a very good serve, he was also very good at the net.”

2. Nick Kyrgios

“Despite his height of just 1.93 metres, Nick Kyrgios sets himself apart with exceptional accuracy and power on his serve, enabling him to earn numerous points, notably with his outstanding second serve. Undoubtedly, he merits acknowledgment as one of the premier servers in tennis history.”

1. John Isner

“With his imposing height of 2.08 metres, John Isner showcases impeccable serving technique, delivering thunderous serves that are nearly impossible to return.

“His second serve features a formidable bounce, posing a significant challenge for opponents. There’s no denying that he rightfully holds the title as the ultimate server in tennis history!”

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