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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: How well do WTA top eight know each other?

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

• Video: The WTA top eight get quizzed about each other and hilarity ensues. It's all about the facial expressions.

• Ernests Gulbis tells USA Today that he would have punched a fan if he knew he wasn't going to get disqualified during his first-round match in Indian Wells.

• The two top British women, Heather Watson and Laura Robson, made first-round exits. Here's The Daily Mail's write-up of the day's events.

Peter Bodo writes on the ITF's recent announcement that it will introduce the biological passport into tennis in order to curb any doping efforts and maintain a clean sport. It's been welcome news.

The regimen for the biological passport differs substantially from the approach of the previous, random testing methodology. As the LAD notes in the aforementioned Q&A: “For the ABP (Athlete Biological Passport), it is much preferable to have 4-5 tests performed every year from a well-thought, intelligent test distribution plan, than more results from tests scheduled randomly that will waste resources and dilute relevant information.”

Translation for the pros: No more strangers showing up at your door at 7 a.m. to demand that you disappear into the toilet and produce a vial of urine that, as has been noted, isn’t a very reliable indicator of sophisticated doping anyway. And, presumably, no more having to report your every change of location to the tennis authorities—a demand that always did seem chilling and truly onerous. A number of players, including Xavier Malisse and Yanina Wickmayer, were charged for failing to report their whereabouts—an understandable oversight that unfortunately led to suspicions that they were trying to evade doping control officers.

• From Tennis Grandstand, a look at Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta. The two former top 10 Italians faced off in the first round on Thursday.

• Ryan Harrison didn't take the court until after 10 p.m. on Thursday night thanks to a series of matches that went the full three sets. Courtesy of his coach Trey Davis' Twitter feed and captured by The Changeover, here's how he spent his day.

• Redfoo tells the BNP Paribas Open that he might release the song he's done incorporating Victoria Azarenka's grunt soon. Is the world ready for that?

• Want to follow the action in Indian Wells but stuck at work? Tune in to BNP Paribas Open Radio to follow all the action.

• How about this picture of Canada's Genie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova through the years?

• Video: Sharapova hits the ballpark in her new Head ad, and unfortunately for Novak Djokovic he was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMgThTJWycw&feature=youtu.be

• Non-tennis: Paging Trent Reznor: Call Me Maybe mashed up with Nine Inch Nails's Head Like a Hole.
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