Why It's Almost Impossible to Hit a 160 MPH Tennis Serve | WIRED

  • Published on Jul 12, 2019
  • Some of the best tennis players have incredibly fast serve speeds. The fastest official serve is 157 MPH, but could it be even faster? WIRED's Robbie Gonzalez looks into the science and skill of sizzling serves.
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    Why It's Almost Impossible to Hit a 160 MPH Tennis Serve | WIRED
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 991

  • Lily Brass • 9 years ago

    someone give me a tl;dr

  • Fundamental Tennis
    Fundamental Tennis 2 days ago

    Hi! I think we can do some business together. What is your email?

  • Ken
    Ken 3 days ago

    Pleasee doo a video on Badminton! About smashes which can reach 400 kmh!

  • Arman Bastavand
    Arman Bastavand 3 days ago

    youre serve is slower because u cant play tennis tf it's like going up to Messi and saying I want to know why I can't play like you

  • lookwhoscomin
    lookwhoscomin 4 days ago +1

    That awkward moment when the worlds fastest serve is actually 163mph

    • The Asian Dude
      The Asian Dude 3 days ago

      If you paid attention to the video, that wasn't really recognized as the fastest serve because the speed guns are not the same as the officials speed guns on tour.

  • Charles Sandomenico
    Charles Sandomenico 5 days ago


  • fakecubed
    fakecubed 6 days ago +1

    I like how in the background of all the tennis footage, the crowd looks really, really bored.

  • Life’s Good
    Life’s Good 7 days ago +1

    Btw the fastest tennis serve is 163.7 miles an hour but ok 😊

  • Sean Jenkins
    Sean Jenkins 10 days ago

    I would say Andy Roddick and Sam Groth in their primes, on a good day, indoors and on a fast surface could get pretty close to 160 mph

  • iam007richie
    iam007richie 11 days ago

    never knew why people would say "person X annoys them" even if they've never met them. Well after watching this video and guy yap for a while I get it!

    • Pink Dark Boii
      Pink Dark Boii 3 days ago

      He's one of those people who has a bigger mouth than mind. For a start, modern rackets aren't "upwards of 100 sq inch".

  • Diogo Lima
    Diogo Lima 13 days ago

    I hate miles per hour measures

  • blanca roca
    blanca roca 13 days ago

    They really gotta stop these guys getting two chances to shoot the opponent. Two chance nonsense goes back a hundred years to when players hardly practised and served much slower. Also they should say the serve needs to be inside the quadrant not barely scraping the outside needing a proven unreliable though fair kawkeye to find a micrometric contact which barely lies within quantum mechanics uncertainty measurement.

  • Dennis Miller
    Dennis Miller 14 days ago

    4:56 look at that face

  • poida smith
    poida smith 15 days ago

    Wrong grip! No chance. Biggest difference, start with that fundamental. No wonder no American man has won a slam since Roderick almost 20 years ago. American coaching needs a reboot!

  • Young Gunz
    Young Gunz 15 days ago

    You can tell the interviewer is not an athlete. Not sure at all why he compares himself seasoned athlete. Nerds and IT people are very socially awkward people, this is demonstration of that. Could wired have assigned this to someone with more athletic ability?

  • Claw
    Claw 16 days ago

    I was wondering why my servers were always stopping at 159🤷🏽‍♂️

  • R. Fazor
    R. Fazor 16 days ago

    Almost impossible. Almost. Only Wilt Chamberlain can serve over 160 MPH.

  • good stuff
    good stuff 16 days ago

    I hit 170mph everyday

  • Raphael A-R
    Raphael A-R 17 days ago

    Samuel Groth says wuddup

  • Epterr
    Epterr 17 days ago +2

    its not impossible, Samuel Groth did it in 2012, he hit the ball 163.7 mph

    im so stupid, i should have watched the video before i said that lol

  • Nevan Richard
    Nevan Richard 17 days ago


  • Truth Reigns Forever
    Truth Reigns Forever 18 days ago

    Sam Goth hit a 163 mph. Look it up on you tube.

    • The Asian Dude
      The Asian Dude 3 days ago

      Watch the video again to see why it's not recognized

  • Kris Anderson
    Kris Anderson 18 days ago +5

    Nadal is one of the greatest ever and he rarely hits a flat serve.

  • Zane Atkins
    Zane Atkins 19 days ago

    Watching him hit makes me cringe

  • samurai7411
    samurai7411 19 days ago

    Continental. That is all. Love the vid!

  • IHG Punjas
    IHG Punjas 19 days ago


  • Höher wertiger
    Höher wertiger 20 days ago

    i never realized that this shall be exciting.

  • Ben Dover
    Ben Dover 20 days ago

    This guy needs to do something on cricket

  • Jeevun
    Jeevun 20 days ago

    4:30 those pit stains lol😂

  • Nick Guzman
    Nick Guzman 20 days ago

    Fuckin hate “ almost impossible”. They said a 4 min mile was impossible. Someone WILL serve 160 someday.

  • Tom Tam
    Tom Tam 21 day ago

    1) The combination of his smile and eyebrows is so unsettling. 2) This is an obtuse question. I was expecting a better explanation than "because only the fastest servers can hit 160 mph".

  • emperorninjakingruler Berkeley

    The fastest severe is 163 mph so shut up

  • H3xane
    H3xane 22 days ago +1

    I can hardly watch this, because his grip is freaking horrible. Like my guy that's should be the number one thing!

  • maguire bentz
    maguire bentz 24 days ago

    What do y’all think would have happened if dirk played tennis professionally instead of basketball?

  • Summer Immortal
    Summer Immortal 25 days ago

    because nobody ever has

  • jphatd
    jphatd 25 days ago

    sam groth hit a 163

  • Lincoln StMyer
    Lincoln StMyer 25 days ago

    Who didn't blink at 1:34

  • Google Reviewer
    Google Reviewer 25 days ago +1

    Really excellent video. Better than anything I've seen on any tennis channel!

  • Joong Treez
    Joong Treez 27 days ago

    Nice piece.

  • YTMik Playz
    YTMik Playz 27 days ago

    Nothings impossible

  • Dom Edits
    Dom Edits 28 days ago +1

    I use that same exact racquet. It’s the 2018 Babolat Pure Drive

  • xiaoran mo
    xiaoran mo 28 days ago

    Faster than a lot of trains

  • Tiny Valkyrie
    Tiny Valkyrie Month ago

    My goodness people are really missing the point here. This series is all about showing the difference between Robbie and a top of their game professional. One guy can’t be expected to be perfect at sprinting, heading soccer balls, juggling, speed rock climbing, stone skipping and all the other myriad sports he covers here, but he does all of them with a shocking amount of competency. Heck, he even SAYS his form is terrible... that’s what makes the comparison interesting. Come on, appreciate what is being done here, don’t nit pick a person who doesn’t play tennis for not having perfect form.

  • Paul O'Reilly
    Paul O'Reilly Month ago

    Do one on boxing next!

  • Salvador Nobre Veiga

    If the host serve was almost 80 mph mine is easily into the 110s probably or more. The frying pan form is awful for speed and accuracy/consistency. And lots of energy being wasted.

  • Sune Anderson
    Sune Anderson Month ago

    They really tricked you quite a bit here... roll across the strings?! Check it out in slo mo.

  • Sune Anderson
    Sune Anderson Month ago

    You can’t store energy.

  • István Sipos
    István Sipos Month ago

    please, make a handball episode. it would be nice + it would be useful because Americans usually don't know that sport at all.

  • Evi Bobtail
    Evi Bobtail Month ago

    Tennis looks so unhealthy

  • kat undmaus
    kat undmaus Month ago +1

    When someone eventually does hit a 160 MPH Tennis Serve, post another video about Why It's Almost Impossible to Hit a 170 MPH Tennis Serve.

  • Paul Soms
    Paul Soms Month ago +1

    Would be nice if this article was made by someone who had somewhat of a serve, at least.

  • mr slick
    mr slick Month ago

    Dude uses 80 yr old grandpa grip on his serve.

  • Daniele Messina
    Daniele Messina Month ago

    what is a *senior* writer?

  • DeltaSh0ck9666
    DeltaSh0ck9666 Month ago +4

    wired: imma go look for a world record and add +1 mph and say its almost impossible

  • kevin shelly
    kevin shelly Month ago

    The guy in the black shirt has never played tennis in his life.

  • Michele Cozzarin
    Michele Cozzarin Month ago

    I've been playing tennis for 12 years and watching Robbie's serve physically hurt me lmao. Good video tho

  • Liam Brinton
    Liam Brinton Month ago

    1:40 must have been a fake go pro. A real one would disintegrate the tennis ball

  • Mike Koz
    Mike Koz Month ago

    Years ago they said no one could throw a baseball over 100 mph and yet now a few guys can, that no one could break the 2 hour marathon but soon they will. No difference with a 160 mph serve

  • 조상민
    조상민 Month ago +2

    OMG, I CAN`T stand with his grip. I just can`t watch this.

  • Ian Stodard
    Ian Stodard Month ago

    Love these videos and often show them to my Elementary students. I can correlate science and sports, and the students love them. With this being said, occasionally the words like "a$$ and d$$$" are in the videos. While I am personally not a prude, I don't fancy my 9 year old students hearing those words. The tennis and jump video are fantastic because there is clean language, a great point, and students can relate. Thank you for making a positive impact in kids and adults lives.