The Fastest Serves in Tennis History


Sam Groth pic

Sam Groth

Allen Fitzsimmons of Belchertown, MA, is the owner of Talon Furniture Gallery and chief executive officer of Transitioning Forward, an organization specializing in asset appraisal and other aspects of estate settlements. When he is not working, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys playing tennis. He has played competitively and has spent a decade as a certified teaching pro.

In 2014, German Sabine Lisicki set the all-time record for fastest serve in a women’s tennis match. Competing against Ana Ivanovic at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Lisicki struck a 131-mile-per-hour serve, besting the previous record, set by Venus Williams seven years earlier, by 2 miles per hour. Ivanovic got a racket on the ball, preventing Lisicki from hitting an outright ace, but could not return the serve. However, the 2008 French Open champion ultimately prevailed over the new world record holder by a score of 7-6, 6-1. Other female record holders include Serena Williams at 128.6 miles per hour, Julia Gorges at 126.1, and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy at 126.

On the men’s side, the record for fastest serve belongs to Sam Groth of Australia. Groth set the all-time service speed record at a challenger event in Busan, with a delivery clocking in at 163.7 miles per hour. It should be noted that the Australian’s impressive serve is not officially recognized by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which attributes the record to a 157-mile-per-hour serve by American John Isner. Isner set the record in a four-set Davis Cup match against Bernard Tomic in which he recorded 49 aces and no double faults.

The History of the Jazz Trumpet


 Jazz Trumpet pic

Jazz Trumpet

Since 2013, Allen Fitzsimmons has served as the CEO of Transitioning Forward, a Belchertown, MA-based company that helps its clients sell assets they no longer need. In addition, he is the owner of Talon Furniture Gallery in Massachusetts. In his spare time, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys playing music, especially jazz trumpet.

The trumpet has been an important instrument for jazz since at least 1894 when trumpeter Buddy Bolden was photographed with a jazz band. Bolden is often named as the first jazz musician for his innovative trumpeting, which combined influences from ragtime and blues.

Trumpets may be seen as the key instrument for jazz partly because they can be so loud and serve as a natural lead instrument in a group. Trumpets have been recorded as early as 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt and China and were originally used as a clarion call, for example in battle. The trumpet’s musical potential was first explored in the 16th century and became quite popular in the 16th and 17th centuries with the classical music of the time. From there, its popularity waned until it found its jazz foundation in the 20th century when its clear, loud sound translated well to early musical recordings with jazz greats like Louis Armstrong in the 1930s.

A Brief History of the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands pic

The Cayman Islands

An entrepreneur in Belchertown, MA, Allen Fitzsimmons is the founder and CEO of Transitioning Forward. In this role, he leads a company that sells assets for individuals who are relocating or settling estates. In his free time, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys traveling, especially to the Cayman Islands.

Located in the Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands consist of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Christopher Columbus landed on the islands by accident on May 10, 1503, after a random wind took his ship off course on its route to Hispaniola, which today is home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Shocked by the thousands of turtles on the two largest islands, he named the islands Las Tortugas. Prior to taking on the current name, the islands were renamed the Caimanas, which comes from the Carib Indian term for the marine crocodile once lived on the islands.

The Cayman Islands didn’t see settlers until the 17th Century, and the first permanent inhabitant in recorded history, Isaac Bodden, was born there around 1700. The islands would eventually receive a variety of settlers, including Spanish Inquisition refugees, shipwrecked sailors, pirates, and slaves. Today, most Caymanians have a mix of African and British ancestry, and the islands welcome visitors from around the world in search of beautiful beaches and diverse Caribbean wildlife.

Outdoor Sites to See in the Cayman Islands

Stingray City pic

Stingray City

A graduate of the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School with a master of science in management, Allen Fitzsimmons of Belchertown, MA, is the CEO of Transitioning Forward, a business that appraises items for resale for those who are moving, down-sizing, or selling an estate. In his free time, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys traveling to beach destinations, including the Cayman Islands, which offer a number of beautiful sites to see. The following are just a few.

Stingray City. Located on Grand Cayman Island, Stingray City features a shallow sandbar where visitors can feed Atlantic Southern stingrays. The area also gives tourists the opportunity to explore the waters while scuba diving, snorkeling, or taking a trip aboard a glass-bottom boat.

Smith’s Cove. With crystal clear water, Smith’s Cove is just south of George Town and is ideal for diving and snorkeling, giving visitors the opportunity to see coral reefs, sea fans, colorful sponges, and tropical fish.

Bloody Bay Marine Park. Located on Little Cayman Island, Bloody Bay Marine Park features a coral wall that drops over 5,000 feet below sea level. The park attracts both beginners and experienced scuba divers and offers views of sea life such as stingrays, sharks, and turtles at just 100 feet below sea level.