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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Alternative to the pros

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

• ATP Uncovered sits down for a fan Q&A with the legendary Rod Laver. "How can you be up 5-0, 40-0 and not win a match?" Questions we have been contemplating for years, Rod.

• Here's a must read blog post (translated from Hebrew) from Israeli pro Amir Weintraub on the pros playing European tennis leagues in order to supplement their incomes. According to Weintraub, the leagues run in parallel to the regular ATP Tour and payment, which is based on a player's ranking, is guaranteed win or lose. One interesting detail he points out: players are obligated to show up for matches on Saturdays, which means players who are playing a tour level event that week might actually have to lose early in order to make their league matches.

A top-100 player will receive approx. 6,000 Euros for a match in the French league, a player of my ranking will be paid approx. 2,500 Euros per match (A sum I can usually earn only by completing a 5-match tournament) and a top-30 player will earn 12,000 Euros for a single match. Show me a non-slam ATP tournament that pays this well.

Here’s how the French league works: The league spans across five weeks and matches are held on Saturdays. When you sign a contract with a team, you need to take into account that you're committed to it just like a football player is committed to his team after signing with it. Since tour finals (in lower ranked tournaments – Futures etc.) are held on Saturdays, the leagues have a clause in the contract you sign, stating that whatever happens, you will not reach a tour final since you're obligated to appear at your team's match on Saturday morning (feel free to see this as an explanation for some of the tour's weird results).

• Agnieszka Radwanska says she's never broken a racket before. Really, Aga? Do we not remember this?

• Venus Williams does a lot of brand name-dropping in this New York Times fashion piece. No really, if you don't speak fashion, you won't understand a word she's saying.

"I just bought a pair of mauve Tom Ford sunglasses that I was dying to wear, so I built my tennis outfit — pink polo and charcoal gray flutter skirt, both from my collection — for practice around them. I added simple Roberto Coin gold hoops. It’s probably not the usual thing to wear accessories to practice. But I say accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. If you don’t accessorize, someone else will."

• Mats Wilander is back on the road after injuring his kidney in a scary fall back in Melbourne in January. Great to hear he's recovered and doing well.

• Non-tennis: TGIF, amiright?

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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