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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: More Wimbledon kits

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygshKI73dkI&feature=youtu.be

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

• Video: The WTA launched its 40 Love campaign to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the tour.

• Here's what Venus Williams, Andy Murray and Ana Ivanovic will be wearing at Wimbledon. And in case you missed it, here are the outfits for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

• Pippa Middleton was going to play the Rally Against Cancer charity exhibition match with Murray and friends, but Buckingham Palace put the kibosh on it.

Courtiers at Buckingham Palace, concerned at Miss Middleton’s appetite for publicity, and mindful, too, that the Queen was attending the Cartier Queen’s Cup on the same day, were, however, less enamoured of the idea. “Pippa was informed that it would not be prudent for her to participate,” says my man at the Palace. “It was unfortunate we hadn’t addressed the issue earlier, but Miss Middleton took on board what we had to say.”

A spokesman for the organisers of the Moët & Chandon event at Queen’s told me: “There was some talk of Miss Middleton taking part. It didn’t happen, as I think she couldn’t make the timings. She did come to watch earlier in the week.” He insisted that Miss Middleton made the decision to withdraw “a good few weeks ago”, but others assured me that it was an “on and off thing” and in her diary until “virtually the last minute”.

• Has Halle eclipsed Queen's as the signature grass-court lead-up tournament to Wimbledon? Ben Rothenberg makes a compelling argument.

“We started with the slogan ‘Wimbledon Starts in Halle,’ so we had the strawberries,” said Ralf Weber, the tournament director, referring to the signature snack at the All England Club. “A little bit for marketing, but I think it’s good, and the people like this, to have German Wimbledon here. Because Wimbledon, I think for most of the tennis fans, is king of the tournaments.”

Tournament organizers imported a British greenskeeper and wooden net posts from the All England Club. The dark green backdrops on the courts mimic Wimbledon’s. But the Halle courts display advertisements, pop music plays during changeovers, and the most popular food stands sell German fare like sausage, pretzels and beer, not strawberries.

For the players, one main attraction is a hotel about 80 yards from the stadium.

“It’s one of the nicest weeks of the year, one of the most relaxing weeks of the year,” said Tommy Haas, a German who is the defending champion. “For me, everything is just organized tremendously well. You can walk to the practice courts, the hotel is right here, the gym is there, so you really don’t waste any time during the day of being in a car to get somewhere or something.”

Irina Falconi is blogging about her attempt to qualify for Wimbledon this week.

• A day in the life of Laura Robson.

• Bonus video: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gets the better of Murray in foosball during a rain delay at Queen's.

• Non-tennis: Via Longreads.com, 21 outstanding stories from women's magazines and websites.
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