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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Bagel: Can Andy Murray keep calm and carry on?

http://youtu.be/oO125n03qMs

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

• Video: Andy Murray is the butt of a few jokes for charity.

• Greg Rusedski says Murray's Wimbledon defense has been crippled by the split with Ivan Lendl. How about everyone take a deep breath and calm down a little bit?

When coaches and players break up, it is usually for one of three reasons. The first is finance – which should not be a problem in this case. The second is because the player has outgrown the relationship. Again, that does not apply here.

The third reason is because the two parties differ on what the player can achieve and how he can get there. Maybe Ivan felt he had contributed everything he had to their partnership.

After Andy underwent back surgery in September and missed a couple of months, there was no real prospect of him climbing to No 1 in the world in the near future. I am just surprised that they didn’t want to go back to Wimbledon in the summer and try to defend that title together.

• Venus Williams talks to Pat Cash about the state of her game.

• Peter Bodo of Tennis.com on how Madison Keys came pretty close to upsetting Li Na at the Sony Open.

Thirty-two-year-old Li Na knows what it’s like to be 19-year-old Madison Keys, and she’d just as soon not have anything to do with it anymore. But today she was happy to revisit that age and the state of Keys’ development after a series of impressive escapes left the world No. 2 a 7-6 (3), 6-3 winner in their third-round match today.

“I think when I was same age like her -- I think she's much, much better than me,” Li said afterward.

“You know, Americans have a long history about tennis. So she was learn tennis in America, so they have high, how do you say, high goal(s)... They have so many tennis star in America. So they looking forward for No. 1 in the world.”

It’s a good point, this difference in the baseline of expectations, but it’s still also true that there’s a great difference between playing a good match and winning a good match. That’s the part that even the distinguished honor roll of American tennis champions cannot help a young player like Keys master.

Keys had two more break points in this match than did Li (12-10), but she converted one fewer (four to Li’s five). Ultimately that spelled the major difference.

• More details on Bernard Tomic's record-setting loss in Miami.

• Heather Watson had to serve underhand in her first-round loss in Miami.

• WTA Backspin's roundup of the first week in Miami is worth a read.

• Five things that would make the 2014 tennis season even better.

• Non-tennis: Will the NFL's officiating get a much-needed overhaul?
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