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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Serena Williams endorses Australian underwear brand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p31aGy_jD3E

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

• Video: Lots of great footage here with an 11- and 12-year-old Serena and Venus Williams.

• Another tennis player, another underwear deal: Serena Williams is endorsing Berlei, an Australian underwear company. Interesting to note that she's worn its bras, not Nike's, over the years and that Nike dyes them to match her kits. Well, interesting to me, anyway.

• Peter Bodo looks back on the last two weeks. Are we seeing a shift to faster courts?

Given that the faster courts Down Under still produced a few marathons, but on the whole encouraged a more exciting, aggressive brand of tennis, it seems entirely possible that last year’s five-hour plus final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will be remembered as the tipping point in a gradual trend back toward faster courts. Personally, I think it would be great step, based on the shot-making we just recently watched.

• Matt Cronin closes the book on the Australian Open. I like his suggestion on mixed doubles. Let's try to grow that part of the game.

Many fans like mixed doubles, perhaps more than regular doubles, so it’s high time to start ranking mixed teams again and its also time to start holding mixed competitions at the combined Masters Series. I realize there is a prize money element involved as well as court time issue, so here’s my solution: make the Masters Series mixed draws eight teams, and cut four teams out of both the men’s and women’s doubles draws.  That will do it.

• China Daily reports on how Li Na's run to the Australian Open final was perceived in China. Pretty cool to see that Stephon Marbury and Liu Xiang tweeted (or "Weibo'd") about her.

• The Changeover has a detailed look at Novak Djokovic's success rate in tiebreakers.

• Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf went to a WWE event in Las Vegas. Steffi looks as skeptical as one would expect.

• Speaking of Agassi, Fox Sports Australia had a nice interview with him.

• In case you can't get enough tennis reading, The Next Point releases its 2012 Tennis Annual.

• Non-tennis: An 84-year-old grandpa plays video games.

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