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Beyond the Baseline

Passing Shots: Serena Williams responds to questionable headline?

Serena Williams had a dominant year with Patrick Mouratoglou as her coach. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) Serena Williams had a dominant year with Patrick Mouratoglou as her coach. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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

• Much has been made of CNN's clunky headline on a profile of Patrick Mouratoglou: "Down and out in Paris: The man who rescued Serena Williams" -- which betrays the actual content of the piece. It's no secret that Mouratoglou loves the publicity and attention that have come with his partnership with Williams, but he has always given Serena credit for her own success. Still, the headline got the blogosphere buzzing. Think Progress seized on the ludicrous implication that Williams needed to be saved, and feminist blog Jezebel weighed in as well. And if you read between the lines, Williams may have offered her own response via this tweet:

https://twitter.com/serenawilliams/status/403676127191130112

• This is probably a good time to note that writers rarely write their own headlines. Just throwing that out there.

Andy Murray skipped the last two months of the season due to injury. (Photo from Facebook) Andy Murray skipped the last two months of the season due to injury. (Photo from Facebook)

• Good to see Andy Murray back on the court, hitting balls in Miami.

https://twitter.com/andy_murray/status/403304562804940800

• Incidentally, Murray had planned to play an exhibition in Barbados next week, his first action since September back surgery, but the event has reportedly been canceled. Guess we'll have to wait until the late-December exhibition in Abu Dhabi to see how he's moving.

• Bar chat, inspired by this piece: Did the 2013 season turn on the French Open semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic?

• I seem to have accidentally introduced Andrea Petkovic to the game of beer pong:

https://twitter.com/andreapetkovic/status/403617378912989184

Andy Roddick and Venus Williams share a laugh at a World Team Tennis exhibition in Florida (Manuela Davies/Getty Images) Andy Roddick and Venus Williams share a laugh at a World Team Tennis exhibition in Florida. (Manuela Davies/Getty Images)

• The power of Andy Roddick: The Orange County Breakers of World Team Tennis will relocate to Roddick's hometown of Austin, Texas, next year and become the Austin Aces. Pretty appropriate name for a team that feature Roddick's right shoulder.

• I wasn't surprised that the top-ranked Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci were voted by the media as the WTA's Doubles Team of the Year, but Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai had a strong case. Errani and Vinci became co-No. 1s in April and won three titles, including the Australian Open. Hsieh and Peng won five titles, including Wimbledon and the WTA Championships. They went 5-0 in finals this season and are 9-0 as a team.

450327463a Venus Williams says hi to her little brother Dylan. (Manuela Davies/Getty Images)

• Venus Williams is back to training after taking two months off.

• It's surprising to see so many players split with their coaches after such successful seasons. Richard Gasquet qualifies for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2007 and has coach Riccardo Piatti bail on him. Genie Bouchard, the WTA Newcomer of the Year, soars 122 spots (to No. 32) and dumps Nathalie Tauziat. Grigor Dimitrov wins his first ATP title and cracks the top 25, and splits with the Good to Great Academy. Gutsy moves.

• Boy, those two really do see each other more than their mothers.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pose with David Nalbandian and Nicolas Massu at an exhibition in Chile. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images) Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pose with David Nalbandian (far left) and Nicolas Massu (far right) at an exhibition in Chile. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)

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