Coco Gauff hit the fastest serve of this year’s Australian Open women’s singles event during her semifinal match at Melbourne Park against Aryna Sabalenka.
In the eighth game of the first set against Sabalenka, No. 4 seed Gauff fired a 201 km/h (124.9 mph) serve. By delivering that serve, Gauff beat Alycia Parks’ record for the fastest serve at the 2024 Australian Open. Also, 19-year-old Gauff recorded the third-fastest serve in Australian Open history.
In one of the earlier rounds, 23-year-old Parks hit a 197 km/h (122.4 mph) serve. Sabalenka, who ended up winning the Australian Open, came in third place with a 195 km/h (121.1 mph) serve delivered at Melbourne Park.
Gauff on the pressure Sabalenka puts in her return games
Sabalenka, one of the biggest hitters in the women’s game, was very aggressive in Gauff’s service games. However, that wasn’t anything surprising to Gauff, who expected the Belarusian to go after her serve, especially after her second serve.
In the end, Sabalenka created 10 break point chances and realized four of them en route to sealing a two-set win over Gauff. After the match, Gauff was asked if knowing how aggressive Sabalenka would be on her second serves was putting pressure on her mentally.
“Yes and no. Like, I’ve played her so many times so it’s just a part of it. Sometimes she’s gonna miss and sometimes she’s going to make winners. Today she was hitting winners,” Gauff said.
“On my second serve, I kind of found it more in the second set trying to place it better. I feel like if I would have placed it better, because I don’t think it’s a speed thing. Whether it’s faster or not, you know she’s stepping in regardless. I think that the placement, I was just hitting it right to her forehand, and so she knew where it was going every single time.
“So I think I want to work on that in the future.”
Five months earlier, Sabalenka came out firing in the US Open final before Gauff recovered to beat the Belarusian 2-6 6-3 6-2 and become a Grand Slam champion.