Lisicki sets record for fastest serve in WTA history


2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki lost her first round match to Ana Ivanovic on Tuesday at the Bank of the West Classic tournament. The loss did not come without a career highlight for the 24-year old German. At 5-5, 40-30 in the first set, Lisicki launched the fastest serve in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association. The ball clocked in at 131mph, beating Venus Williams’ previous record of 129mph set at the 2007 US Open. Ivanovic made a decent play on the blistering serve, but her return did sail wide. Currently ranked 11th in the world, the Serbian went on to win the match in straight sets 7-6(2), 6-1.

To put this record into perspective, 13-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal, who is considered by many to be the greatest mens player of all time, has an average serve speed of approximately 108mph. The number one ranked mens player in the world Novak Djokovic won the Wimbledon Championship last month with an average serve speed of 107mph, his fastest of the tournament was 124mph.

Lisicki has won 3 WTA singles titles and is known for her infectious smile and often calm demeanour on the court. The 29th ranked player in the world will leave California much earlier than she would have hoped but she will surely take comfort in the fact that she set a place for herself in the WTA record books.

Tesla and Panasonic ink deal for “Gigafactory”


Tesla Motors and Panasonic Electronics have reached an agreement to build a battery plant in the U.S. According to Tesla the factory will require an investment of up to $5 billion and employ 6,500 people. The states named as finalists to try and acquire this large project include Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.

The goal of the partnership is to create lower cost advanced batteries. The battery is being designed for a mass market car, the model 3, which is due out in 2020 and will be priced at $35,000. Tesla aims to produce enough batteries to equip 500,000 vehicles a year. In comparison, Tesla produced only 20,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year.

Earlier today, Panasonic posted a $369 million net profit for the 2nd quarter of 2014, down 65% from a year ago. Panasonic looks at it’s reported 20% investment in the plant as a chance to expand into the growing market of electric cars.

Former U of Penn football player dies diving for lobster


22-year old Joseph Grasso died on Wednesday diving for lobster in Pompano Beach, Florida. The former University of Pennsylvania linebacker was diving for lobster with a large group on a commercial diving boat. After the group returned to the boat Joseph decided to head back into the water alone. It wasn’t long before the other divers noticed that Joseph had not emerged from the 40-feet of water. He was eventually found unconscious by the crew and rushed to Broward Health North Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to the Broward’s Sheriff’s Office, the death does not appear to be suspicious. However, due to heavy traffic during mini-lobster season the Coast Guard advises to always dive in groups. The Florida Fish and Wildlife commission claims to have seen many safety violations by divers.

Joseph played 31 games in 3 seasons for the Quakers and averaged 1.39 tackles per game. He graduated from the Ivy League school with honours and was going to attend law school at the University of Miami this fall.