break (someone's) serve

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break (someone's) serve

In tennis, to win a game that is being served by one's opponent. She broke her opponent's serve in the last game, and it looks like the match is now firmly in her control.
See also: break, serve

break someone's serve

In tennis and related sports, win a game served by one's opponent, as in The only way he'll win the match is to break Bill's serve. The use of serve, from the earlier service, meaning "starting play" in these sports, dates from the early 1600s.
See also: break, serve
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Sport24, Monfils broke for a 4-3 lead when Gasquet's forehand sailed wide and capitalized on another forehand error to break serve in the ninth game of the final set and clinched his first title of the season with a service winner.
Estonian Kanepi, who beat Britain's Laura Robson on Monday, took advantage of three Lisicki double faults to break serve for a 2-1 lead in the second set but the German 23rd seed reeled off four games in a row to stand on the brink of the last four.
The resounding win, in one hour and 16 minutes, was de-fined by Vesnina's ability to capitalise once she got into position to break serve.
5 because Roddick finds it far harder to break serve - he has won just 18 per cent of his return games this year, far lower than any other player in the field - so he is never likely to run away with sets like Nadal.
At 5-4 Jankovic served for the set, racing to 40-0 before Shvedova scrambled back into the game to break serve and stay in the set.
His efforts suffered the same fate as those of Tim Henman whose second round match against Spain's Feliciano Lopez lasted just six minutes before the rain sent the players scampering off Centre Court The world number one pounced on the first show of weakness from his 18-year-old opponent - by five days the second youngest player in the draw - two unforced errors in the sixth game allowing him to break serve with a superb backhand passing shot.
ANAHEIM - The Ducks were able to break serve Tuesday night with a win in San Jose.