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Beyond the Baseline

Passing Shots: A champ's reality check

Andy Murray Andy Murray was poked in the eye by an autograph seeker outside a London restaurant. (Photo by Mark Milan/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Random thoughts, observations, links and other goodies from the tennis world this week …

• Above photo: The man is in demand.

• What was Andy Murray doing four days after winning Wimbledon? Going to the dentist.

Tweeted Murray: "Just got done with the dentist.. Back down to earth with a bang... #numb #dribble."

• And what was he doing at 1 a.m. on the Friday after winning Wimbledon? Watching World Team Tennis, obviously:

https://twitter.com/andy_murray/status/355479526106607616

• And Andy Roddick, who played for the Lasers against Kevin Anderson, was mortified:

https://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/355519281275994112

• Speaking of Roddick, he's still very good at being Andy Roddick:

https://twitter.com/AllaK11/status/355701800097165312

• Tennis Channel will broadcast the induction ceremony for the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Martina Hingis is the headliner.

• Jack Sock, ranked 84th is now the American No. 4, behind Isner (19th), Sam Querrey (21st) and Mardy Fish (61st). And Ryan Harrison, down to No. 110, is the No. 11 American,  one slot behind Wayne Odesnik. Wayne Odesnik? Yes, Wayne Odesnik.

• Tournaments are going to need to start installing dog runs:

https://twitter.com/CaroWozniacki/status/353962923489640448

• There are four clay-court tournaments this week, two for the men and two for the women. That's a nice paycheck for the players, but how can anyone get excited about clay-court tennis right now?

Venus Vs., a Nine For IX documentary on Venus Williams' fight for equal prize money at Wimbledon, is scheduled to re-air on ESPN on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. I thought it was well done. Here's a clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyPEkmjSIa0

• While poking around the SI Vault (which I highly recommend), I came across Rick Reilly's 2001 column on the issue of equal prize money. It's worth a read, mainly to be reminded that the men's game hasn't always been the one that sells tickets and brings in the viewers.

• I like ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue and have always appreciated its inclusion of tennis players. But what's up with John Isner's being photographed actually playing the sport, while Agnieszka Radwanska is shot lounging around a pool like a model? This is the reason I've always liked the WTA's Strong is Beautiful campaign. Yes, it dolls up the players, but it also focuses on the strength, balance and flexibility involved in hitting a tennis ball.

• Acts of God and Acts of (Wo)men: Flooding in Central Europe led tournament organizers in Budapest to cancel qualifying and give direct entry to four alternates. With six top-100 players withdrawing from the tournament, the combination of factors enabled No. 565 Xenia Knoll of Switzerland to receive the last direct entry into the main draw. (Knoll lost to Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-2.) And then the top two seeds, Lucie Safarova and Alize Cornet, crashed out in the first round.

• The Juan Martin del Potro running forehand, which will be making an appearance at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., in two weeks, has to be the most electric shot in tennis:

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

• According to this report, Rafael Nadal is planning to play Montreal, Cincinnati and the U.S. Open. I'll believe it when I see it. He rarely plays well in Cincinnati, and if he makes a deep run in Montreal the week before, I have a hard time believing that he'll commit to back-to-back tournaments.

Hsieh Su-wei Hsieh Su-wei (right) was joined by her father as she arrived back in after winning the Wimbledon women's doubles title. (Imaginechina via AP Images)

• China's Peng Shuai and Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei were over the moon after winning the women's doubles title at Wimbledon. Their smiles never faded, even when they had to speak with reporters in a crowded walkway next to Court 14 after a fire alarm in the press room led to a building evacuation. But back home, controversy has stirred for Hsieh, who is reportedly considering switching to Chinese nationality in exchange for a $1.6 million annual sponsorship deal from a Chinese company.

• The overwrought BBC Wimbledon montages kept me very entertained during the fortnight. Thanks, BBC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el9N6vWgres

• Kristina Mladenovic will finish her career with a career Grand Slam in both doubles and mixed doubles. She's the real deal. Ashleigh Barty, too.

• Here's how to lose a good portion of your day: The Wimbledon Archive has every draw sheet and result, searchable by year, player and event.
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