The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• In case you missed it, check out the trophy-presentation ceremony after the Australian Open men’s final, specifically the 1:15 mark, when Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal show a coordinated sign of exhaustion.
• After a combined 14 sets in the semifinals and final and a historic championship match in Melbourne, let’s go out on a limb and say, yes, men’s tennis is the most entertaining sport right now.
• Grantland’s Brian Phillips analyzes the “epic warfare” at the top of the men’s game: “How must it feel to be Rafa Nadal today? The cruelest thing about this glutted golden age of men’s tennis is that it keeps producing astonishing matches, matches that actually expand your idea of what sport can be, and someone has to lose all of them.”
• Jon Wertheim gives his 50 thoughts on the Australian Open. How about this “hypothetical” nugget on endorsement deals: “It’s no secret that clothing manufacturers give significant bonuses to players for significant achievements. Nike, for instance, says, ‘Hey star player, we’ll pay you a base of $X. But if you win two majors you’ll get an additional $Y.’ The companies then go and insure these bonuses; so if a player has a killer year, they’ve managed the risk. What happens when an insurance company won’t insure a certain player, like — just hypothetically of course — a guy who won three majors the previous year? It can really impact his ability to land a mega-endorsement deal.” No kidding.
• Martina Navratilova wrote an open letter to Margaret Court. “I remember looking up to you,” she wrote. “You were one of my role models, and I felt so privileged to be on the same court with you, even as your ball girl. I think that is why it truly pains me now that we can’t see eye to eye. And while I still admire all your accomplishments on the court, I’m disappointed by your inability to acknowledge me as your equal off the court.”
• Get to know the Australian Open girls’ champion, Taylor Townsend. She may have to live with all The O.C. jokes, but her game is no laughing matter. The 15-year-old American is a bundle of raw talent. A lefty who can pound the ball and actually likes to get to the net? I’m excited.
• Michael Coulter of The Age, on the tennis tantrum: “Tennis lays the psyches of its players bare for all to see, and anger is part of the show. As distasteful as it can be, there’s also something compelling and weirdly entertaining about a well-thrown tantrum.”
• Non-tennis: Can the last major bookstore chain survive?