Video: Sabine Lisicki Hits Fastest Serve in WTA History

Despite losing 7-6(2), 6-1 to Ana Ivanovic in Stanford earlier tonight, Sabine Lisicki appears to have made WTA history. The German cracked a first serve to hold for 6-5 in the first set, which the tournament radar gun clocked at 131 mph.

While it still has yet to be confirmed by IDS, the company the WTA employs to track statistical data at certain events, a 131 mph serve would break Venus Williams’ seven-year record: a 129 mph serve that she hit at the 2007 US Open.

UPDATE: Guys. It’s a thing.

Taylor Townsend’s Canadian Doubles Adventure

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The Philadelphia Freedoms tried their hand at ending the dynasty that the Washington Kastles have built in Mylan World TeamTennis on Thursday night.

Instead, weirdness reigned supreme in the Eastern Conference Championship.

With the Kastles hanging onto a slim lead after halftime, Anastasia Rodionova and Martina Hingis took the court against Liezel Huber and Taylor Townsend. Down 1-2 and returning, Townsend accidentally beaned Huber in the back of the head with a forehand. While she tried to play a few points, she was unable to continue and eventually had to be helped off the court. She was later diagnosed with a concussion.

On the tour, this would mean that the match would end by retirement.

But because this is WTT, all hope was not lost for Townsend and the Freedoms. Normally, another player would seamlessly be substituted in for Huber and the match would continue without a hitch. The Freedoms, however, did not have any substitutes available on Friday night.

As per WTT rules, with no bench available, the Freedoms had a few options:

If, in doubles, there is no player to substitute (including
alternates) for an ill, injured or ejected player, the set SHALL
NOT be defaulted automatically. The team may use the coach
as a substitute, if of the same gender. If the coach is already
playing, then the team will continue to play with only one
player left on the court and will finish the set with that one
player serving and receiving in the regular order. This rule also
applies if there are not two players able to begin a set of
doubles. If, in singles, there is no player to substitute (including
alternates) for an ill, injured or ejected player, the set will then
be defaulted.

With Freedoms’ head coach Josh Cohen out of the question for *women’s* doubles, the road team made the decision to continue the set 2-on-1. The catch? Townsend needed to play as if Huber was still on the court; she could not return serve from “Huber’s” side, nor could she serve when “Huber’s” turn came up in the service order.

It didn’t go very well, but bless, Townsend tried.

She took it all in stride, giving her best effort and winning over the partisan crowd at Kastles Stadium. She won a few points, but couldn’t get another game on the board as Hingis and Rodionova prevailed in the set 5-1.

(Vines: SB Nation, @rodger_sherman)

Photo Op: Petra Meets the President

So much for laying low.

Along with Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Klara Koukalova, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova met with Milos Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic, on Wednesday. According to Czech news agency Ceske Noviny, the president wanted to meet with Kvitova not only to celebrate her victory, but address controversial comments made by another politician shorty after her win at SW19.

According to Radio Praha, Czech Social Democrat (ČSSD) parliamentary deputy Stanislav Huml called Kvitova’s patriotism into question because she calls Monaco home for tax purposes.

“I think that we should all have a long and hard think about the fact that if someone leaves the Czech Republic and becomes a member of another state, then they should lose their Czech citizenship. Because I don’t know that the few percent less in taxes that she stands to pay in a country like Monaco deflects from the fact that perhaps the Czech Republic actually helped her achieve some of her success.” (Radio Praha)

But on Wednesday, Zeman voiced his support for the two-time Wimbledon champion.

“I know that as one of the successful people you are envied. One of the reasons for our meeting is that I would like to voice my support for you against the envious people.”I beg you to ignore them because they cannot do anything but envy.” (translation, h/t Ceske Noviny)

Billie Jean King Holds Twitter Q&A, Wins at the Internet

Ahead of the Philadelphia Freedoms’ Mylan World TeamTennis match against the Boston Lobsters on Friday night, Billie Jean King once again proved that there is truly no opponent she can’t conquer.

Tonight’s foe?

The Twitter machine.

To raise awareness for the Mylan Aces charity initiative, in which the team that hits the most aces is awarded $1,000 for the charity of their choice after each match,  the league has held several Twitter Q&As with its players this season. Previous participants included Michael Russell, Marion Bartoli, Daniela Hantuchova, Aisam Qureshi and Leander Paes.

Since joining the social networking site last year, the tennis legend has fully embraced the medium – posting selfies with all of her famous friends (and one famous puppet), #tbt-ing with Eugenie Bouchard, and photobombing Victoria Azarenka.

Marked with the hashtag #MylanAces, BJK took time out of her pre-match preparations to answer a series of questions on a whole host of topics; she touched on everything from her famous ‘Battle of the Sexes’ against Bobby Riggs (the 40th anniversary of the match passed in September), to Andy Murray’s appointment of Amelie Mauresmo, to the age-old question: cats or dogs?

Game, set and match.

Maria Sharapova = Very Tall. Floyd Mayweather = Not.

At ESPN’s annual ESPY awards on Wednesday, also known as the awards show that doesn’t actually mean anything, Maria Sharapova and Floyd Mayweather presented the fan-voted award for “Best Game.”

The 6’2″ Sharapova, “miffed” by her lack of introduction by master-of-ceremonies Drake, decided to take over the stage in the most hilarious way possible. She walked out in front of the 5’6″ boxing great, and then proceeded to prop herself up on him.

Awesome GIF is awesome.

860519337GIF: @cjzero

Sharapova won for Best Female Tennis Player while Rafael Nadal claimed the ESPY for Best Male Tennis Player.

Oh, and Grigor Dimitrov (duh) and Sloane Stephens were also there reppin’ tennis.

A fun night was had by all.