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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Rafael Nadal's style

http://youtu.be/uhU4dSihj7U

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

• Video: Nice stab volley here from Igor Sijsling, who beat seventh-seeded Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Tuesday.

• A photo collection of Rafael Nadal through the years. Quite the evolution of style.

• The ITF released its anti-doping testing statistics for 2013. There was a noticable increase in the amount of testing, particularly blood testing. A positive sign, but there still needs to be more.

• An interesting interview with Stuart Miller, head of anti-doping at the ITF, on the new biological passport system.

• Chair umpire Enric Molina, the ITF's head of officiating, is leaving to become CEO and partner of a new athlete management firm with Alex Corretja.

• Steve Tignor talks to Bill Rapp, the former tournament director of the now-defunct SAP Open in San Jose, Calif., a tournament that benefited for years from the strong base of American players but couldn't compete once Europe became the home to all the top players.

With the best male players coming out of Europe, San Jose no longer made sense travel-wise. But that didn’t keep Rapp, who says “I don’t take no for an answer,” from trying to land them.

“I spent six months talking to [Roger] Federer’s parents, Robby [Robert Federer] and Lynette,” Rapp says, “and then I finally sat down with Roger. He’s a great guy, but it was clear that it wasn’t going to happen.”

“I did the same thing with Rafa [Nadal] and Novak [Djokovic],” Rapp continues. “Rafa’s agent let me sit down with him one on one. I tried everything. I said we’d get him out on Pebble Beach, that we had the best seafood pasta he would ever have. But same thing, it became clear it wasn’t going to happen. And I understand, San Jose meant another trip to the States for those guys.”

• Nice to see Victoria Azarenka lending her support to World Team Tennis. She's committed to playing for the Philadelphia Freedoms.

• Simona Halep is now working with Kim Clijsters' former coach, Wim Fissette.

• Non-tennis: 10 questions as the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament begins.
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