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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: The meaning of (tennis) life

The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Above, footage of Caroline Wozniacki working with new coach Ricardo Sanchez in Dubai as father, mother and boyfriend look on. That's quite the entourage for a routine practice session.

A great collection of quotes on how the game of tennis reveals truths about an individual's character, philosophy, and outlook on life.  This line from Svetlana Kuznetsova seems to sum up every tennis player's core realization: "I’m, like, ‘Okay, I played tennis for 17 years, and I still cannot put this little ball in this huge court.’ I’m not the worst player in the world, so definitely I have expectations to put a few more [balls] in. It’s not the fault of the ball. The ball is perfect. It’s the right size. It’s not broken. It bounces, it’s green, has white lines, it’s written Penn. But I’m not perfect." And therein lies the rub.

• Novak Djokovic gave a lengthy interview to an Israeli newspaper and you can find a translation here. He had some nice words to say about Petra Kvitova, who was his choice for tennis player of the year.

• Sven Groeneveld has urged Caroline Wozniacki and her father to shorten her schedule to focus on the Slams, but they were more focused on the top ranking. "Does she need to play Madrid, Rome and Brussels in row right up to Roland Garros? And is it really necessary to play a hard-court tournament (Copenhagen) before Wimbledon?" The answer would certainly be "Nope." Let's see if Team Wozniacki changes its tune in 2012. I think they will.

• Grantland takes a look at the year in sport, and not surprisingly, Novak Djokovic made their list. "Although I was still on Team Roger, Novak's will to win was infectious. And then, with a Federer match point, the unthinkable happened. Djokovic returned Federer's serve with a ferocious cross-court winner and I audibly cheered for Novak. I couldn't believe it. The true tennis fan had finally reared its beautiful head. I wanted whatever outcome it took for this match to never end."

Anna Chakvetadze says she's completely healthy and that her dizzy spells which caused her to faint multiple times on court last year were related to an inner ear infection. Here's to hoping she's right and is able to return to her former top-five form.

• WTA Backspin offers 100 intriguing questions heading into 2012 and introduces "The Spanish Human Centipede." Seriously, it's worth your time to read the whole thing.

• Non-tennis: This dog is afraid of Julia Roberts. Apologies in advance for the shirtless action in there. Not much I can do about that.

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