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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: What to make of Murray-Djokovic rivalry

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

• Video: To say Roger Federer had an up and down -- and eventually down -- day against Andy Murray in the Shanghai semifinal is an understatement. On one hand, his back-to-back-to-back double faults made headlines. On the other, he played this ridiculous point. Even he had to smirk at how good that dropper was.

• Steve Tignor takes measure of the rivalry between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

I like both of these guys, and I usually get a kick out of Murray’s mania, but at tense moments they’re dueling agitation and angst can cast a pall of negativity over their matches, one that doesn’t exist in the other recent rivalries. From an “Is it good for the game?” standpoint, that’s the only drawback I can see from a future filled with Murray-Djokovic finals—will their cursing and head shaking and mood swings appeal to the proverbial casual fan?

• Wimbldon doubles champions Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen have qualified for the World Tour Finals. World No. 5 David Ferrer has also locked down his singles spot.

• Novak Djokovic met up with the staff of the LA Clippers in Shanghai. Globalization!

• Writing for the BBC, Jonathan Overend says the success of a few individuals doesn't mean the problems plaguing British tennis are fixed.

At the moment we have three fabulous players - claiming scalps, winning titles, restoring national reputations - and British tennis is undoubtedly in a much healthier state now than a year ago. I believe the best is still to come from all three of them. But there is insufficient back up to suggest a wholesale change with future success guaranteed. No tidal wave of GB talent is about to takeover the world's top 100 (Murray is alone inside the men's top 200) and the long-term work to fix British tennis must continue as before. We haven't suddenly become world-beaters.

• Bonus video: It seems that tennis and dancing go hand-in-hand these days. Victoria Azarenka bulldozed the field to win Linz and then showed off some dance moves.

• Non-tennis: I'm in Vienna, Austria at the moment, which is a pretty good segue-way into this clip of Austrian Felix Baumgartner's record breaking jump from 128,100 feet. Incredible.

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