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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Beyonce's message for Serena Williams

serena-williams-beyonce (Beyonce.com)

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

• Photo: That message was posted on Beyonce's website after Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova in the French Open final.

• At 31, Serena's game is growing, as Vanderbilt women's coach Geoff Macdonald writes for The New York Times.

What was most impressive about Williams was the sheer variety of shots in her arsenal. For years, she won with powerful serving and fearsome ball striking off both sides. It was brutally effective, the tennis equivalent of shock and awe. But her game could implode on the occasional bad day. A year ago at Roland Garros, Williams lost in the first round to Virginie Razzano, beating herself with countless unforced errors. She looked miserable on the red clay, at war with both herself and the humbling surface.

But against Sharapova, a player who looks to take control of the point from the first strike, Williams showed her much improved ground game. Rather than go for a winner on the first or second ball, she used spin and height and change of direction to outmaneuver her taller, less agile opponent.

• Williams tells USA Today's Doug Robson that she's already focused on Wimbledon.

• In case you missed it, here are Jon Wertheim's 50 parting thoughts from the French Open.

• ESPN.com's Greg Garber has 10 Roland Garros takeaways from the men's side and his colleague Jim Caple has 10 from the women's side.

• Grantland's Brian Phillips on how Rafael Nadal's victory proved everything and nothing at the same time.

• Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal describes the gap between Williams and the rest of the field this way:

At the moment, there is not an earthly gap between Williams and the rest of the elite in women's tennis. Serena is her own planet.

• Reuters examines Nadal's bid to regain the No. 1 ranking this year.

• Roger Federer and Tommy Haas are playing doubles together in Halle, Germany, this week.

• The WTA's website puts Williams' French Open title in perspective.

• Non-tennis: A moving Washington Post story about a Newtown, Conn., family's struggle to recover after the shootings.

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