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Ivo's not playing today :sad:, but a press realease has come out about the fastest serve tourney! :)

(with thanks to Scarlett for pointing me in the right direction!) :yeah:

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Las Vegas, Nevada, is known for the strip's hot neon lights, and and the sun-baked no-man's land between the world-reknowned desert oasis and California to the west. But in Sin City on Wednesday, the blistering heat that cracked most thermostats was none other than the hot shots in the dramatic finals of the inaugural Panasonic presents the Tennis Channel Open.

With Orange Co., Calif.'s, Kevin Jackson's 140-mph mark in place as the number to beat Tuesday afternoon, the other contenders stepped to the baseline Wednesday in an epic showdown for bragging and claiming rights to the Vegas' competition's first-ever championship.

And the crowd wasn't to be disappointed.

Vegas resident and Team Agassi foundation director Tim Blenkiron came to the court with fire, igniting the crowd and the radar gun with 125-mph of service heat. Adrin Himmelheber, who was a top national junior before gaining notice at UNLV, came in at 129-mph, and Mark Latrell, a teaching pro from Central Calif., brought the kind of game that rarely eminates from the ranks of the mere amateur, a wicked 132-mph delivery that put stadium court on its collective feet.

But then it was time to get serious.

As promised by The Tennis Channel, the fast-serve contest couldn't really be a a fast-serve contest until the ATP pros got involved. And the 6'10", hard-serving Ivo Karlovic got involved. With Kevin Jackson's 140-mph serve establishing the standard, Karlovic had five chances to top that number. The hard-hitting Croatian toyed with 140 in his first attempts, before finally taking the title with his final offerning.

The first Tennis Channel Open fast-serve contest put jetBlue airline vouchers, a Panasonic flat-screen TV, and a Murrey pool table up for grabs. More importantly, it brought tennis fans and tennis pros together in one place -- center court at the Tennis Channel Open -- as the crowd got to witness an exciting competition that unfolded like no other.

One can only wait for next year's fast-serve adventure.
 
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