Thursday December 15th, 2011

• Mikhail Youzhny, he of head-bashing fame (see above video), has earned his PhD in philosophy from the University of Moscow. Great to hear that he had enough brain cells left to complete the degree.

• American Taylor Townsend, 15, made quite an impression during U.S. Open qualies, reaching the third round before losing to Laura Robson. Read more about her in this USA Today profile. She's got potential.

• Wimbledon CEO Ian Ritchie, a one-time candidate for ATP CEO, is leaving his post to lead England's Rugby Football Union. In addition, Richard Krajicek has withdrawn from the search for ATP chief executive. It's looking possible that the Tour could go into 2012 without a replacement for Adam Helfant.

• As the Orange Bowl begins in Florida for the top junior talent, here's a nice behind-the-scenes look at the USTA Player Development Center.

• Peter Bodo weighs in on his worst matches of 2011. I must say, any list that doesn't include Andy Murray-Robin Haase at the U.S. Open just seems incomplete.

• Bernard Tomic says he's being targeted by a "jealous" traffic cop who is harassing him, but he won't file an official complaint. Well, if you're trying to keep a low profile, being a 19-year-old who drives an orange BMW M3 that requires a special exemption probably doesn't help.

• Petra Kvitova, on doing a recent photo shoot: "I must say that the role of tennis players I like more than the role of models." • Non-tennis: Looking for a last-minute gift for the book nerd in your life? Let's just say I wouldn't say "no" to any of these T-shirts. To sweeten the deal, a book is donated to a community in need with each purchase.

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