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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Russia has "no chances" to win the Fed Cup Final

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdYB23-JmM0

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

• Video: This great rally between Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska left them both smiling.

• Either Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev is playing mind games, or he's really throwing in the towel on the Fed Cup final.

Announcing a young, severely-depleted side for the tie, Tarpishchev was frank about the outcome.

The team features Alexandra Panova, ranked 138th in the world, Alisa Kleibanova (186th), Irina Khromacheva (231st) and Margarita Gasparyan (317th).

"Frankly speaking we have practically no chances to win the final,'' Tarpishchev said. "We're going there not to win but to give our young tennis players experience.''

• Rod Laver says the critics should lay off Bernard Tomic.

"He's got a different game and that's why a lot of people feel that he might not be playing up to his best standard.

"But that's the way he plays the game, so I don't think people should get too critical of why perhaps he tried a drop shot if he misses it.

"He's doing it for a purpose.

"Some of the things don't pan out but when he played a guy called Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon he actually made him look [silly].

"The way he was playing with him, he was playing drop shots, he was playing slow shots, easy shots, serving aces, that's the way he plays.

"Tomic is putting opponents off with the way he plays, so I hope he doesn't give that up."

• From The Tennis Space: Top 10 Quotes about Ivan Lendl.

• Rob Lowe talks about his upcoming show on NBC about a down-and-out tennis pro.

Lowe’s next role will allow him to change out of dark suits and into tennis whites, as he’ll be playing the head pro at “the most prestigious, oldest Los Angeles tennis and golf club” for a new NBC series. “It’s a half-hour single camera comedy that hopefully will be in the smart, funny tradition of Parks & Recreation and The Office and 30 Rock,” he said. “It’s almost a comedic Downton Abbey look at the one percent versus the 99 percent.”

• Ana Ivanovic has reportedly already broken up with her new boyfriend because he went public about their relationship. He clearly didn't do his research on Ivanovic, who has always tried to keep her relationships private.

Ryan Sweeting gets approval from Jim Parsons, who stars in Big Bang Theory alongside Sweeting's finace Kaley Cuoco.

• Non-tennis: The smog levels in Northern China are out of control.

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