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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Getting past Big John

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

• Only the best can get the ball over a 6-foot-9 John Isner at the net. Isner described the shot Roger Federer hit at 7-7 in their first-set tiebreaker on Sunday as "that backhand pass lob, whatever it was," which is as apt a description as any. For a more straightforward lob of the big man, check out the one Novak Djokovic hit in their semifinal showdown on Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open. The Djokovic swagger says it all.

• You down with OOP? Yeah, you know me. No, really, you do. Tennis fans and writers click for each day's order of play with the enthusiastic anticipation of a puppy waiting for its bowl to be filled. Steve Tignor ruminates on the pull and power of the order of play.

• Looking for some tennis-related reading material? Ray Krueger, a founding editor of The New York Times' Straight Sets blog, has written an e-book, 45-Love: My Yearlong Quest to Fulfill a Lifelong Dream in the Sport of Tennis.

• The world was introduced this weekend to Isner's girlfriend, Madison McKinley, who got almost as much airtime as Gwen Stefani. You can check out McKinley's Twitter feed here.

• Larry Ellison, the Oracle CEO who purchased the BNP Paribas Open in 2010, casually drops the fact that Rafael Nadal is "staying at my place." He even got to hit with him.

• In a field led by Marin Cilic and Tommy Haas, who had Frank Dancevic as their pick to win last week's Dallas challenger?

• Rosie Casals, one of the Original Nine who founded the WTA, thinks it's time for officials to step in to curb grunting. "If Maria [Sharapova] or [Victoria] Azarenka or Venus or Serena [Williams] continue to lose points because they're grunting, they're going to change. They're not going to grunt,” Casals says.

• Non-tennis: I confess, I've never actually explored the non-tennis-related portions of Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, home of the 1964 World's Fair.

See or read something that you enjoyed and want to share? Feel free to email or tweet us links to pieces from around the Internet that may have slipped past our radar.

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