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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Novak Djokovic parties with a hawk at Dubai Championships

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJPNKVOwm3I

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

• Video: A look inside the Acapulco players' party. David Nalbandian cares not for your all-white dress code.

• From The Slice, pics from the Dubai player party, where Nikolay Davydenko's daughter, Ekaterina, was in attendance and Novak Djokovic partied with brother Marko. And a hawk.

• From the Sun-Sentinel, Ernests Gulbis, who plays Sam Querrey on Wednesday in Delray Beach, says the lack of talent in the top 100 motivated him to raise his ranking.

"I was really getting pissed to see who's in the top 100,'' Gulbis said after squeaking out a three-set victory over Denys Molchanov. "There are some guys who I don't know who they are. Some guys, I'm sorry, with respect — they can't play tennis.

"I don't know how they got into the top 100. It's tough, but I think I'm much better than them and I just want to prove to myself by the rankings, also. It's a motivation.''

• Great read from The New York Times on “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Tennis Game in New York."

By the end of two hours, I’m dripping as if I’ve just exited a Navajo sweat lodge. Why do we put ourselves through this ordeal week after week? Our exertions have changed nothing in our lives. But it’s not about athletic prowess; it’s about forgiveness. To forgive the teammate who double faults (a small number when you consider how many faults most of us commit in a day); the opponent who, having sensed that you’re about to poach, slams a wicked passing shot down the line; above all, to forgive yourself for the netted volley, the backhand that went long, the drop shot that failed to drop. And, having forgiven, to persist. I cite the tennis enthusiast Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

• The Daily Mail reports a number of management companies are chasing Laura Robson, whose Octagon contract ends this year.

• Jo-Wilfried Tsonga blamed umpire Mohammed Lahyani for his loss to Michael Llodra in the first round of Dubai, telling reporters a bad call felt like "somebody had punched you."

• Heres's a great GIF of Tsonga's reaction to the call, via The Grandstand.

• From Tennis Panorama, Kirsten Flipkens clarifies that Kim Clijsters isn't advising her or coaching her. She's just supporting her.

• Non-tennis: From SB Nation, Inside the World Championship of Blind Baseball.

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