The most potent weapon in tennis is the serve, and without a decent serve, you can’t expect to win many games. Players with rocket serves are aesthetically beautiful to watch and admire, as nothing beats the sight of an unreturnable serve.
Here are 15 players who perfected the art of serving and were rewarded with the most aces in one tennis match.
14. Andy Roddick (42 Aces)
American Andy Roddick had a seriously fast first serve, and he once held the record for the fastest serve, clocked at 155 mph, with numerous specific serving records around the courts of the tennis world. He occupies the No. 6 position on the all-time most aces list with 9,074 aces in 776 matches.
Andy made the list of most aces in a single match when he served 42 aces against Philip Kohlschreiber in a losing cause during their match at the 2008 Australian Open. “A-Rod,” as the media dubbed him had an explosive serve that matched his explosive temper.
13. Mardy Fish (43 Aces)
Mardy Fish won 82% of his service games during his career and hit 4,947 aces in 501 matches putting him at No. 33 on the all-time most aces list. Mardy hit an impressive 43 aces in a match against Olivier Ruchus in Lyon, 2007.
Despite outnumbering his opponent with 43 aces to 2, Fish lost the close game 7-6, 6-7, and 6-7.
12. Nick Kyrgios (44 Aces)
Tennis bad-boy and entertainer deluxe Nick Kyrgios possesses a monster serve. Not many players can keep up on the days that his serve is switched on or stop him from dismantling them. The mercurially talented Australian has one of the biggest serves in men’s tennis.
Kyrgios came close to equaling the most aces in a three-setter, Ivo Karlovic’s 45 in Halle 2015, by hitting a total of 44 aces against Ryan Harrison at the Brisbane Open in 2019. Nick’s previous best was a 42-ace match against Denis Istomin at Wimbledon 2018.
11. Mark Philippoussis (46 Aces)
Big-serving Australian Mark Philippoussis had a date with one of the best returners of a tennis ball when he faced Andre Agassi in the fourth round at Wimbledon 2003.
He had lost the previous 6 meetings against the 8-time Grand Slam winner and needed his massive serve to be at its destructive best.
A 5-set thriller that included 46 aces from the red-hot racquet of Philippoussis followed. The Australian said after the match, “The great thing about the serve is you’ve got the ball in your hands.
You can take your time, no one can rush you. You’re in control. Even on the second serves, I went for them. Against a guy like Andre, you have to.”
Philippoussis hit 44 aces in a three-setter against Byron Black in Kaula Lumpur in 1995.
10. Goran Ivanisevic (46 Aces)
The man from Split, Croatia, used to split the court open with his serves. Goran Ivanisevic had a service action that put fear in any of his opponents. Ivanisevic is No. 4 on the all-time list of most career aces, coming in at 10,237 in 731 matches.
Wimbledon was Goran’s favorite ace hunting ground, and it was here that he hit 46 aces against Magnus Norman in the 2nd round of Wimbledon 1997.
After being runner-up at Wimbledon in ‘92, ‘94, and ‘98, he managed to serve his way to the title in emphatic style (record 213 for the tournament) in 2001 as a wildcard entry ranked no. 125 in the world.
Ivanisevic currently still holds the record for the most aces in a year, with 1,477 aces in the 1996 season.
9. Alexander Bublik (48 Aces)
The 6’5” gangly Russian Alexander Bublik is a free-spirited player who loves to improvise his shots, going for the ridiculous at times.
Not a conservative, stick-to-the-book player by a long shot, Bublik has been blessed with a serious serve that bails him out of trouble more often than not.
In the 2nd round of the 2019 US Open, he faced off against Thomas Fabiano, managing to hit 48 aces, before winning the match.
8. Richard Krajicek (49 Aces)
Richard Krajicek is known for his humanitarianism, winning the ATP’s Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2000 and, of course, for famously winning Wimbledon in 1996.
Krajicek makes the ace list for most aces in a match when he hit 49 against Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the quarterfinal of the 1999 US Open.
Krajicek is currently No. 12 on the all-time ace list with 7,694 from 606 matches.
7. Kevin Anderson (49 Aces)
The 6’8” South African Kevin Anderson is a recently retired player who possessed a booming serve which he used to good effect throughout his career.
In the longest-ever Wimbledon center court match, Anderson beat John Isner in 2011 with a score line: 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 in just under 7 hours. Anderson hit 49 aces on the day, and Isner a massive 53. Anderson also hit 49 aces against Jiri Vesely at the 2021 US Open.
6. Roger Federer (50 Aces)
What would any tennis record list be without one of the greatest players of all time and the legend that is Roger Federer? Roger’s serve was a thing of beauty and very hard to return.
The recently retired Federer makes the most aces list for his 50 aces served against Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon Final to reach his record-breaking 15th Grand Slam.
Overall, Federer currently occupies the No. 3 spot on the list of players with the most career aces, with an impressive total of 11,478 in 1,462 matches.
5. Albano Olivetti (56 Aces)
Frenchman Albano Olivetti makes the list of most aces in a single match due to him serving 56 unreturnable aces against Matthew Barton at Wimbledon in 2016.
The ace total was Olivetti’s highest return in his career; however, he still lost the match against the Australian.
4. Reilly Opelka (67 Aces)
American Reilly Opelka is a 6’11” ace connoisseur from St Joseph, MI. Reilly makes the most aces list for serving a total of 67 aces against Thomas Fabbiano at the 2019 Australian Open.
Standing on 3,056 aces since turning pro in 2015, the 25-year-old Opelka has loads of time to assault the overall record held by Isner.
3. Ivo Karlovic (78 Aces)
Ivo Karlovic is a giant 6’11” from Zagreb, Croatia. Famous for his monster serve, Ivo may not hold the record for the most aces in a single match, but he has hit big ace numbers more consistently than any player on this list.
Karlovic’s highest ace total in a single match is the 78 aces he hit against Radek Stepanek in the semi-final of the 2009 Davis Cup. The big-serving Croatian is no stranger to serving a truckload of aces in a match, holding 5 spots in the top 10 of most aces in a single match:
- 75 Aces – Karlovic vs. Horacio Zeballos, Australian Open, 2017.
- 61 Aces – Karlovic vs. Lu Yen-Hsun, US Open, 2016.
- 61 Aces – Karlovic vs. Jan-Lennard Struff, Wimbledon, 2018.
- 59 Aces – Karlovic vs. Kei Nishikori, Australian Open, 2019.
- 45 Aces – Karlovic vs. Tomas Berdych, Gerry Webber Open, Halle, 2015.
2. Nicolas Mahut (103 Aces)
When Nicolas Mahut squared up against John Isner at Wimbledon 2010, the 6’3″ Frenchman couldn’t have predicted that he would play in the longest-ever tennis match. It was a gripping match; the players matched each other blow for blow and ace for ace.
Mahut, not to be outdone by the ace machine Isner, hit 103 aces to become the player with the second-highest ace total in a single match.
1. John Isner (113 Aces)
John Isner is an ace machine. Born in Greensborough, NC, the 6’1” Isner holds various serve records, including the most career aces (13960 in 747 matches) and for serving the most aces in a single match vs. Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010.
In what would become the longest-ever match played at Wimbledon (11 hours 5 min), Isner served a record 113 aces to win the match against the Frenchman Mahut: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, and 70-68.
The big-serving Isner features heavily in other matches with the highest total of aces, such as the following:
- 64 Aces – Isner vs. Ruben Bemelmans, Round 2, Wimbledon, 2018
- 54 Aces – Isner vs. Enzo Couacaud, Round 1, Wimbledon, 2022.
- 53 Aces – Isner vs. Kevin Anderson, Semi-final, Wimbledon, 2018.
- 52 Aces – Isner vs. Steve Johnson, Round 1, US Open, 2020