The serve is the only shot any tennis player has full control over, and in the women's game, holding serve is a premium skill. It's not about who has the biggest serve, but who has the most successful serve, converting points and games with power, precision, and guts. It's no surprise, then, that the most successful servers also happen to be the best players in the game. 

So who were the best servers in 2017?

According to SAP Tennis Analytics, Karolina Pliskova, Johanna Konta, CoCo Vandeweghe, Julia Goerges, Ashleigh Barty, and Petra Kvitova rained down the most consistently effective serves on tour, with each landing in the Top 10 of every service efficiency analytic: service games won, service points won, 1st serve points won, and 2nd serve points won. 

No.9 Konta led the way in the ultimate goal of holding serve. The British No.1 won 79.3% of her service games this year, just edging out World No.4 Pliskova by 0.2% to lead the tour. Konta also set the mark for 2nd serve points won, winning over half at 50.6%. Only two players, Konta and the woman who beat her out for the final qualifying spot at the WTA Finals, Caroline Garcia, were able to cross the 50% mark this year. 

Speaking of Pliskova, the Czech Republic continued to dominate the service categories. Led by the tour's ace-leader Pliskova, a pair of powerful lefties in Kvitova and Lucie Safarova, and going all the way down the line to Karolina's twin sister Kristyna, at least three Czech players landed in the Top 10 of each key service category.

No.10 Vandeweghe, who sealed her Top 10 debut after making her first two Slam semifinals at the Australian Open (l. Venus Williams) and US Open (l. Madison Keys), posted the most consistently devastating numbers. The American is the only player to rank in the Top 5 of every efficiency category: 1st serve points won (2nd), 2nd serve points won (3rd), service points won (1st), and service games won (4th). 

Two women who surged up the rankings to post their career-best seasons in 2017 also featured regularly in the top serving stats. Germany's Julia Goerges, who finished her year on a nine-match win streak to win the Kremlin Cup and WTA Elite Trophy, started the season ranked No.54 and finished at a career-high No.14. Hear Goerges break down how she improved her serve on the WTA Insider Podcast here

Similarly, Ashleigh Barty, who played her first full WTA season after walking away from the game in 2014, started the season ranked outside the Top 300 and finished as the No.1 Australian at No.17. 

SAP Analytics' breakdown of the 2017 season's serving stats below: 


1. Johanna Konta (GBR): 79.3% (52 matches)
2. Karolina Pliskova (CZE): 79.1% (69 matches)
3. Lucie Safarova (CZE): 77.2% (53 matches)
4. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA): 76.7% (47 matches)
5. Julia Goerges (GER): 76.6% (68 matches)
6. Ashleigh Barty (AUS): 76.4% (44 matches)
7. Petra Kvitova (CZE): 75.8% (28 matches)
8. Caroline Garcia (FRA): 74.6% (70 matches)
9. Madison Keys (USA): 74.0% (27 matches)
10. Anett Kontaveit (EST): 73.8% (45 matches)


1. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA): 62.9% (47 matches)
2. Johanna Konta (GBR): 62.8% (52 matches)
3. Karolina Pliskova (CZE): 62.6% (69 matches)
4. Petra Kvitova (CZE): 62.3% (28 matches)
5. Julia Goerges (GER): 62.1% (68 matches)
6. Ashleigh Barty (AUS): 62.0% (44 matches)
7. Lucie Safarova (CZE): 61.7% (53 matches)
8. Madison Keys (USA): 60.9% (27 matches)
9. Anett Kontaveit (EST): 60.6% (45 matches)
10. Caroline Garcia (FRA): 60.5% (70 matches)


1. Petra Kvitova (CZE): 74.0% (28 matches)
2. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA): 73.6% (47 matches)
3. Karolina Pliskova (CZE): 72.9% (69 matches)
4. Julia Goerges (GER): 72.5% (68 matches)
5. Kristyna Pliskova (CZE): 71.0% (45 matches)
6. Kiki Bertens (NED): 70.8% (54 matches)
7. Lucie Safarova (CZE): 70.6% (53 matches)
8. Ashleigh Barty (AUS): 70.4% (44 matches)
9. Johanna Konta (GBR): 70.3% (52 matches)
10. Oceane Dodin (FRA): 68.7% (29 matches)


1. Johanna Konta (GBR): 50.6% (52 matches)
2. Caroline Garcia (FRA): 50.1% (70 matches)
3. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA): 49.9% (47 matches)
4. Qiang Wang (CHN): 49.2% (43 matches)
5. Varvara Lepchenko (USA): 48.9% (38 matches)
6. Shelby Rogers (USA): 48.8% (42 matches)
7. Ashleigh Barty (AUS): 48.7% (44 matches)
8. Julia Goerges (GER): 48.6% (68 matches)
9. Angelique Kerber (GER): 48.5% (51 matches)
10. Samantha Stosur (AUS): 48.5% (41 matches)