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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Maria Sharapova to launch Sugarpova candy brand in Moscow

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F_ircx26uk

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

• Video: Goran Ivanisevic and Stefan Edberg played an exhibition match in Stuttgart, Germany, this week as part of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Has Edberg aged a day? Doubtful.

• Sugarpova comes home: Maria Sharapova will fly to Moscow on Monday to launch the candy brand in Russia.

“When I moved to the United States, I was about 7 years old, and I went to a movie theater and found a huge collection of gummy candies,” Sharapova said in a phone interview, speaking from Los Angeles on Saturday, a day after her 26th birthday. “I’d never seen anything like it in Russia. I was fascinated by the idea, and the first thing I thought was: ‘I can’t wait for my friends to see something like this!’”

• Steve Tignor observes that the Monte Carlo final was played at a quicker clip than past matches between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, but the quality was just as high.

Nadal and Djokovic played 21 games in Monte Carlo; they lasted 1 hour and 52 minutes. Last year, in the Rome final, on the same surface, they also played 21 games; those took 2 hours and 20 minutes. There were, as far as I saw, no official time warnings handed out by Lahyani, and both Rafa and Nole were moving with dispatch between points. Over the course of the tournament, it looked to me as if Nadal had even stopped cleaning the entire baseline with his foot before he began his return games, proof that he can give up at least one his rituals and still be OK -- though having lost for the first time in 10 years in Monte Carlo, Rafa may not see it that way.

Points were shorter than they have been in some of their past matches, but the play between Nadal and Djokovic was just as high quality as always. The physical push and pull of their rallies was just like old times, and if less recovery time made them try to be more aggressive and end points a little more quickly, I'd say that's a good thing.

The Telegraph opines that the biggest issue at Wimbledon remains gender equality.

• Andre Agassi, Kim Clijsters and Edberg are backing the campaign to get squash into the Olympics.

• A short Q&A with Alize Cornet.

• This GIF of Maria Kirilenko during Fed Cup is wonderful. Easily the front-runner for GIF of the Year.

• Non-tennis: Every time Gwyneth Paltrow has name-checked Jay-Z.

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