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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Full schedule or bust

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

• What is it with tennis players and cars? Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal rolled out car commercials this week, with Federer showing off the ... well, I don't really know what that knob in his Mercedes actually does, and Nadal's happy if he's able to just find his Kia.

• Venus and Serena Williams can't think that they can parachute into major tournaments and make a splash anymore. As Matt Cronin writes, they need to start playing a full tour schedule in order to prepare for the Slams:

"But look at what happened this past week in Miami, when she did come in in reasonable health and for a few matches looked like she might dominate the tournament again, especially when she avenged her U.S. Open loss to [Sam] Stosur. She went on court against Caroline Wozniacki, the same woman she had bullied  last September in New York, was run around silly while committing one unforced error after another. She had no feel for the ball and was unable to play herself back into the match. She was rusty and in her case at the age of 30, rust didn’t sleep."

• With her sponsorship deal with Sony Ericsson expiring, Maria Sharapova has signed a three-year deal with Samsung Electronics.

• Andy Roddick is confirmed to play at Queen's Club during his Wimbledon warm-up.

• Fifteen-year-old Taylor Townsend, who won the Australian Open girls' title in January, says she'll turn pro this year after the U.S. Open.

The LTA saw it's funding cut after tennis participation numbers declined. Is this a matter of the LTA being ineffective and inefficient with its cash, or the simple reality that tennis is an expensive sport to play and likely one of the first luxuries you pass up in a recession?

• Non-tennis: How to write the Great American Novel. All good tips. You should read this immediately.

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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