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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Federer says there will never be a rivalry like his with Nadal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2kZx4DicpM

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

• Video: Bob and Mike Bryan rock some different looks as they go back in the tennis time machine.

• From Marca.com, Roger Federer says there will never a rivalry like his rivalry with Rafael Nadal.

With regard to the current rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, he looks back on his years of battling it out against Rafa Nadal. To sum it up, he says: "There will never be a rivalry like ours. Not even that between Borg and McEnroe, despite their different personalities and one being left-handed and the other right-handed. Murray and Djokovic are very similar. Rafa and I are extreme opposites and that's what the fans like so much. Our rivalry isn't over, I'm sure it will be back, I miss it".

• Steve Tignor weighs in on Federer's racket change.

Theoretically, a bigger racquet will give Federer a little more power, and its larger sweet spot should help him on off-center hits. In Hamburg, commentator Jason Goodall said he thought Federer was getting more pace and bite on his slice backhand, but I didn't notice that. The shanks that have always plagued him were still there, and he had trouble finding the range on his mid-court forehands. But there’s obviously going to be a breaking-in period. Djokovic and Murray, and to an extent Nadal, are able to be more offensive with their backhands, and especially their backhand returns, because they use two hands on that shot. Federer’s one-hander isn’t going anywhere, and his high backhand will always be something of a liability, but he’s doing what he can to narrow the gap. The longer-term question is whether a bigger racquet will help Federer play a more muscular game, and do some of the work for him. That won’t be answered this week, or maybe even this year. For now, I’m guessing that whatever help he can get with his struggling return game will be progress enough.

• Serena Williams and Martina Hingis were spotted on a dinner date in Washington D.C. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation...

• The day after Andy Murray won Wimbledon, London's The Times ran the following headline: "Murray ends 77-year wait for British win." It had to issue a correction.

• From ESPN: Better to be Federer than Alex Rodriguez. Well...yeah.

• The USTA's redevelopment and expansion plans for the site of the U.S. Open were finally approved by the City Council.

• Non-tennis: Baby's First iPad.

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