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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Contrasting commentaries

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

• Everything you ever needed to know about the 2012 Australian Open in a 12-minute video. I always think this must be so much fun to edit. Kudos to the bagpipes on that Murray miss.

• Steve Tignor compares commentary styles of the Americans and Australians. "ESPN’s announcers were both more enthusiastic and more promotional than their Aussie counterparts ... After (Feliciano) Lopez came forward and knocked off another passing shot by (Rafael) Nadal, (Brad) Gilbert said, with the sport fan’s edge of aggression, “He made him pay!” Here is how the same moment was analyzed by one of the sober Aussie commentators on the World Feed: “If he can continue with those tactics, it will be interesting to see what Nadal does."

One observation that struck me as well: the volume of the two feeds. There were times I had to switch away from ESPN's coverage because Djokovic's sneaker squeaking was hurting my ears. Something to consider next time the grunting debate comes up again.

• Venus Williams has touched down in Worcester, Massachussetts to join her sister and the rest of the U.S. Fed Cup team in their weekend tie vs. Belarus. She says she's feeling the best she has since being diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrom and she's excited to be a part of the team. "It's definitely difficult not being on the court, especially when there's not much to be done about it, when it's completely out of my control," said Williams. "I think that's probably the hardest part."

• A few weeks ago I linked to Wayne Bryan's letter to the USTA regarding player development. Here's a well-reasoned response from Collette Lewis, junior and college tennis savant. In response to Bryan's critique of college tennis, Lewis says, "there is no college coach in the country who would choose an international player over an American, all things being equal. Bryan’s talk of quotas smacks of the entitlement attitude many believe bears some responsibility for the decline of tennis in this country."

Competition is global now, whether in business or sports, and protectionism will create more problems than it will solve.

Serena Williams and Grigor Dimitrov? Considering the New York Post "strategically" omitted the fact that the two were accompanied by two other friends, one of which was Dimitrov's girlfriend, I'm going to go ahead and say they're just friends.

• Jon Wertheim clears out his post-AO mail with an interesting discussion of the equal pay debate, which has predictably been raised in light of the quality difference of the two Australian Open finals.

• Here's a quick look of the WTA rankings shake-up. Nice to see youngsters Sabine Lisicki and Christina McHale reach career highs.

• Non-tennis: Revisiting Chuck E. Cheese. "My adrenaline jacked up as tickets spit out, and, soon, I was ravenous for them. What games would give me the most tickets? I needed more. When I spied two strays sticking out of a machine, I ripped them off for myself. I stole tickets from children. What was wrong with me? I’m that desperate for, like, a plastic bookmark?"
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