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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Caroline Wozniacki blamed for Rory McIlroy's slump

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGiSrj97txc

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

• Video: In light of the news that Maria Sharapova has hired Jimmy Connors as her new coach, ostensibly to help her get over her nine-year losing streak to Serena Williams, I couldn't help but laugh at this tweet, accompanied with the press-conference video from Andy Roddick's 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 loss to Roger Federer in the 2007 Australian Open semifinals.

• As the British Open is set to kick off, NBC lead golf analyst Johnny Miller blames Caroline Wozniacki for Rory McIlroy's slump.

McIlroy's troubles run deeper. His sweet swing, deft touch and striking poise led to a resounding rout in last year's PGA, burnishing his growing legend, but he quickly plunged into a funk this year and shows few signs of emerging anytime soon.

So the simple, ever-popular question was put to NBC analyst Johnny Miller in a recent phone interview: What's wrong with Rory? Miller offered one mechanical theory - McIlroy's shoulder is way open at address, leading him to "scoop" shots short of their target - but he didn't stop there. "I think he's in love for the first time," Miller said, referring to McIlroy's relationship with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. "It's a wonderful feeling, and it's distracting."

• Roddick begins rehearsals for his new gig at Fox Sports 1 this week.

Roddick never realized he was auditioning for anything via “Roddick and Bones,” the radio show with longtime friend Bobby Bones. But it was the best possible preparation.

“We never really talked tennis,” Roddick said of the nationally syndicated radio show. “It was great for me as a training tool. I learned how to work a show clock and do the show prep and research. I had no experience, just a 20-minute meeting. They said go for it and put me on.”

After retiring from tennis, he met with Fox officials about other broadcast possibilities.

Among those tossed out was a role on a New York-based sports vehicle being planned for Regis Philbin. It was a non-starter, Roddick said, because he needed to be in Los Angeles with his wife, Brooklyn Decker, who had just landed a role in a CBS sitcom, “Friends with Better Lives.”

“She followed me around this tennis tour for so long, there’s no chance that my second career is going to take priority over her career at this point,” Roddick explained in an interview last week.

• Matt Cronin on the Sharapova-Connors pairing.

Sharapova has yet to state how much the 60-year-old Connors will travel with her, but it won’t be to every tournament. Perhaps he will do so this summer, but he won’t in the fall when she heads to Asia. So it’s also possible that an assistant coach will be hired, unless she feels she is at the age where she can coach herself away from the majors with the aid of a hitting partner. That’s entirely possible.

Almost every time that the reason “he/she doesn’t want to travel as much anymore” or wants to :spend more time with his/her family” is mentioned in relation to a coaching split, the presumption is that something else occurred. In the case of Hogstedt and Sharapova, the student is claiming that is exactly what he told her. He is at the age where the travel could have been wearing on him, but did he just say that because he wanted out of his contract? It’s possible, because as well as the Swede did with her in 2012 and for much of this season, (he did lead her to her sole post-shoulder surgery Grand Slam title at the 2012 French Open) he may have been stung by criticism that the strategy he encouraged her to take against Serena Williams was often ill thought out, either that or it was that she was not absorbing what he was saying anyway, neither of which are positive scenarios.

• Toni Nadal admits to coaching Rafael Nadal from the stands. This surprises no one.

• From The Slice, Li Na and Kevin Durant play basketball in Shanghai. She must be standing on a box, right?

• Serena Williams is genetic perfection.

• What did Andy Murray say to his mother, Judy, after climbing back to give her a hug as he celebrated his Wimbledon title? "Hi, mum." Awwwwwwwww.

• "After 77 years, Andy Murray proved that Scottish people can operate in that temperature." Here's the BBC's Mock the Week cracking jokes about his Wimbledon win.

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

• The Daily Mail reports that Burberry wants Murray and Kim Sears to be the face of their next campaign.

• Welcome to the Hotel Andy Murray.

• Non-tennis: Just your typical David Hasselhoff commercial for iced coffee.

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