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Beyond the Baseline

Daily Pain: Novak Djokovic motivated by his home country of Serbia

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The Daily Pain is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet during the French Open (otherwise known as the Daily Bagel).

• Video: French Open spectators are asked to guess the grunt.

• Christopher Clarey for The New York Times points out how Novak Djokovic has consistently drawn motivation from his home country of Serbia, which is currently suffering from the aftermath of the worst flooding the country has seen in decades.

It was noted that [Djokovic] often seems to play his best when he is playing for a cause higher than tennis.

“You’re right; you’re right,” he said. “It’s an interesting observation. I did also feel this at times when I had the last couple of years certain kinds of situations in life, good and bad, that were a lesson in a way for me. I noticed that I found that extra motivation to perform well on the court and to go far.”

But can he go all the way here over the next two weeks and join an exclusive seven-member men’s club by winning the only Grand Slam singles title he is missing?

Playing for Serbia has been a powerful motor for Djokovic. An emotional run to the 2010 Davis Cup title, Serbia’s first, helped him make the leap from serial Grand Slam contender to serial Grand Slam winner in 2011.

• In case you missed it yesterday, Sam Stosur took the court for her first-round match at the French Open with a huge bandage on her shin. Apparently Stosur, who easily beat Monica Puig 6-1, 6-1, injured her leg in the gym doing box jumps and needed five stitches. Ouch.

• UCLA's Marcos Giron and UVA's Danielle Collins won the NCAA D1 tennis championships, and will likely receive a wild card into the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 25.

• Tommy Haas' wife Sara Foster took advantage of the fact that her husband was playing in Europe and posted this video on Instagram (The 36-year-old withdrew from his first-round match with a shoulder injury):

• Non-tennis: Last week marked 100 days until the start of the college football season, so here's an in-depth guide to the remainder of the offseason.
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