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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Tennis' Olympic appeal

• Roger Federer and dubstep? I never thought I'd see the day.

The Economist looks at the Olympics and how tennis can carve its own niche: "For Mr [Rafael] Nadal and his closest rivals, the Olympics is now much preferred to the Davis Cup as an opportunity to represent one’s country. Unlike the Davis Cup, it does not sprawl across the season, intruding on other competitions and wearing players down. For spectators, it is an occasional treat, not a never-ending saga. Its knockout format mirrors that of the slams (although uses best-of-three-sets matches, rather than best-of-fives, until the final) and is much more accessible to the general public. ... This year, the famous venue is a further boon. No other sport set to feature at London 2012 will take place on such hallowed turf (organisers have built new facilities for most of them). That is bound to raise the profile of the event, and the relaxation of some traditions, allowing players to compete in national colours instead of Wimbledon whites, will be an additional attraction. Interest in Olympic tennis has never matched that in Wimbledon itself. But this year it is likely to come a lot closer."

• Serena Williams joins her sister and confirms for the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., in early April. We'll see if that actually pans out.

• Former British No. 1 and Davis Cup captain John Lloyd probably isn't on Andy Murray's Christmas card list and I'm not sure these comments to TCPalm.com's Ray McNulty will do anything to change that. While Lloyd says that Murray is handling the pressure better than he did when he was the British No. 1, he also believes that it's easier these days because players can have entourages to manage off-court demands and distractions. He also doesn't buy into the idea that the caliber of today's players makes it more difficult for Murray to win a Grand Slam. "That's all a bit exaggerated," he said.

• John Isner is the talk of the town at the moment and it looks like he's embraced his status as a late bloomer. "Isner isn't shocked by his recent success, though," USA Today's Stephanie Kuzydym writes. "From girls to growth spurts, he said, he's always been a late bloomer. 'To this day, I only shave once a week,' Isner said."

• I admit, I was skeptical when I heard that the Dubai tournament gave Israeli Shahar Peer a wild card. But it sounds like the past controversy is all water under the bridge.

• I'm very disappointed in myself for not making The Royal Tenenbaums connection. I promise to be better.

• Non-tennis: A modernization of Abbott and Costello's famous "Who's on First?" routine.

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