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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Fire extinguisher needed at Andy Murray's GQ cover shoot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XztVNDI9uJ4

• Video: Behind the scenes at Andy Murray's GQ shoot. There's lots of fire.

• Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki take an ice bath. Ice baths aren't new, but the photo trend is (NSFW-ish).

• How will Djokovic deal with his former coach Jelena Gencic's death? He could be emboldened to win the French Open to honor her.

“She didn’t know she was going to die probably, but she told Novak when she saw him last time that she would be the most happiest woman to hold that trophy,” Marian Vajda, Djokovic’s current coach, said Saturday night. “When she saw Novak the last time, she told him she wanted to take a picture and have the whole collection.”

• Alix Ramsay says Sloane Stephens needs to learn from her PR mistakes and points to Laura Robson as an example.

Her assessment of her position is society following the Erakovic win was, shall we say, a little over the top?

“I don’t live in the real world, so I don’t know,” she gushed. “But hopefully it never stops. I mean, there are no other 20 years olds like me. Might be a few, like Miley Cyrus or something, but other than that I’m pretty much riding solo on this train.”

The problem is that out with the rarefied world of tennis, no one knows who Sloane Stephens is. She is not the first young player to have ideas above her station, and she will not be the last, but in the fame game, she is still a bit-part player.

• Great read on why Hawk-Eye is unnecessary (and problematic) on clay. I've spoken to a number of officials on the issue, and they all express doubt as to whether Hawk-Eye is as accurate as everyone seems to think it is. On clay, the mark is clear.

In a sense, implementing Hawkeye on clay would be ‘put up or shut up’ time for the technology and its manufacturers. The mark never lies and players, officials and fans can finally see for themselves how many calls were upheld or overturned when they really shouldn’t have been. Set the scene for the worst case scenario, and a very plausible one. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are playing in a Roland Garros final, late in the fifth set. Nadal’s shot is called out on a break point for Djokovic, and Nadal challenges. The technology rules the ball in, but there’s a clear mark showing that it is in fact out. There’s no evidence to suggest that the technology is more accurate than the mark, so what’s right? That might be an extreme example but a valid, and very real, concern. The chair umpire’s hands are tied and control over the match is more or less taken out of his or her hands. On the other side of the coin, the credibility of the technology as a whole take a hit. What happens then?

• NBC dropped the ball on their weekend coverage, killing any streams of alternate courts and airing tape-delayed coverage when live tennis was an option. Fans were not happy.

After Federer overcame Gilles Simon in five sets, most sane people assumed NBC would switch to Suzanne Lenglen, where World No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska was facing off against 2008 Rolly G champion Ana Ivanovic. After all, NBC’s coverage window still had plenty of time to go. But surprise, surprise, NBC did not do such a thing. The network proceeded to show Serena Williams’ 1 and 3 trashing of Roberta Vinci from earlier.

To recap: NBC killed off all the streams, and when there was live tennis to be shown (featuring two prominent WTA stars), they preferred to show a match that had already happened. Did they use their cable sports network to show the live match? Of course not. Did they use their website to stream said live match? Nope.

• Maria Sharapova's social channel: Weird Candy.

Having surrendered another sliver of privacy and potentially a full serving of dignity, I joined the Maria Sharapova Social Channel, eager for the tennis star to open up and share her uncensored world with me.

Unfortunately, new content does not officially launch until June 24th.

That’s right, the promotional app being mercilessly flogged in television commercials is, as we used to say in 1996, “Under Construction.” Photos which appear to provide clickable content are just stubs at the moment. Tabs for “games” and “prizes” offer attractions which won’t be available for nearly a month. The up-close-and-personal look at the superstar is only currently available on layaway.

• A great title to a post on Gael Monfils: "The Great What If."

• Elena Dementieva says coaching WTA pros has no interest to her, but she is open to coaching kids.

• Roger Federer has now won 900 ATP matches.

• Sloane Stephens showed up late to her second-round match and could have been defaulted under the rules.

• Tennis players and coaches have never hid the fact they use YouTube as a scouting tool.

• Non-tennis: 10 movie titles with bad grammar.

Video: Youzhny smashes racket nine times

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