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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Fed Cup roster moves

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

• Andrea Petkovic, who's been sidelined with a back injury since Australia, returns to action in Fed Cup when the Germans take on Australia. Fingers crossed that it means the return of her "Petkorazzi" videos. Here's one of my favorites, wherein John Isner tries -- and fails -- to flirt.

• Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev says he hasn't dropped Vera Zvonareva from the team and can still adjust his lineup as their tie against Serbia creeps closer. Still, not exactly a ringing endorsement for the No. 2 Russian.

"Zvonareva will be training with the team, she has to prepare on clay anyway. If she is physically ready, we can change one name in our application 24 hours before the game. That's what we are counting on. We hope that Vera will help the team."

• Meanwhile, Serena Williams is ready to go for the U.S. squad's tie against Ukraine, while sister Venus is not on the roster.

• Natasha Smith was a top-ranked junior at 13 years old before she burned out on tennis and drugs and alcohol took over her life. Five years later she's started over and is playing collegiate tennis at the University of Utah.

"It sounds corny, but tennis saved my life. I’ve never been happier than I am now. And my parents, they stayed behind me. I told them again and again to f--- off, but they saved my life, too. I’m so grateful to them now. I love them to death."

• Ryan Harrison's Rock Band song of choice? "Don't Stop Believin'", with the Bryans on guitar and drums.

• This year's Olympic gold medals are the heaviest gold medals ever. I'm pretty sure there's a beans and toast joke in here somewhere:

At 400 grams (14 ounces), the equivalent of having a large tin of baked beans hanging round your neck they will be more than twice as heavy as the average of the previous five games, and almost 17 times heavier than at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.

• Non-tennis: While Venus Williams is fighting an autoimmune disease to scratch her way up the rankings to just qualify for the Olympics, Dwayne Wade is complaining about not being paid to play there. As the kids say, "just sayin'."

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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