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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Murray, Sharapova Australian Open favorites?

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

• Video: On Wednesday, we put together our Best Shots of 2012. Here's the ATP's selection.

• Serena Williams takes home the WTA Player of the Year award. No argument here.

• ATPWorldTour.com ranks the top upsets of 2012.

• This is a bit odd: Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley taps Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova as the Melbourne favorites. Really?

• No, Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy aren't engaged.

• Interesting observations here from Steve Tignor on a fans' blind spot in being able to evaluate their favorite player's rivals.

I’ve said before that fans are usually very good at assessing their own favorites, because, much like parents, they know a lot about that player and understand his or her motivations better than most—they see his or her side of things. But fans, and by that I mean fans who are clearly partisan toward one player, are not as good at assessing their favorites’ rivals, because the understanding and sympathy aren’t there. Those players are, after all, a threat to the favorite, and are regarded with a protectively wary eye.

• Peter Bodo makes the case for Ivan Lendl and Sam Sumyk as Coaches of the Year.

• Richard Pagliaro on the Year of the Czechs.

• Non-tennis: A steamy love letter to cheese.

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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