The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Andy Murray answers some Twitter questions, including a recount of getting pranked by Rafael Nadal. Anyone have any suggestions for Andy to get even?
• Steve Tignor reports that David Ferrer’s third round match against Denis Istomin in Indian Wells was inadvertently left off the initial Order of Play. As it turned out, Ferrer lost to Istomin in straight sets. “Even the grittiest players can’t live on grits alone,” Tignor writes. “Every time he had an opening [Tuesday], Ferrer closed it off himself with an errant ground stroke; maybe it was the thin air here, but he had no feel for the ball. And when Istomin grabbed the lead, he didn’t let go. He clamped down with 125 mph serves and flat bullet forehands.”
• Doug Robson takes an in-depth look at the shot-clock issue. As Robson reports, “‘Sometimes 20 seconds is more than adequate, and sometimes 25 seconds is clearly not long enough,’ Gayle Bradshaw, ATP executive vice president of rules and competition, wrote in an email. ‘This is why it is very difficult to critique a match solely by looking at a stopwatch.’”
• The debate over court speed is quickly turning into a debate about skill vs. athleticism. “The style of play among the top players is far more homogeneous than it was even a decade or so ago,” Tim Joyce writes. “That’s because of the sameness of the court speed, combined with racket technology. And this is not a good thing for the sport. If the men’s game weren’t in the midst of such a brilliant period – I’d put the last several years up against any other period in the open era for excitement and utter talent – the court speed issue would be far more pronounced.”
• Anastasia Myskina has reportedly given birth to her third child, a baby boy named Pavel.
• A man was penalized on Jeopardy for pronouncing “Wimbledon” incorrectly. Though, as my British colleagues often remind me, it’s not “Whim-bull-din.” It’s “Whim-bull-done.”
• Non-tennis: The science of choking: “In the typical fight-or-flight scenario, scary high-pressure moment X assaults the senses and is routed to the amygdala, aka the unconscious fear center. For well-trained athletes, that’s not a problem: A field goal kick, golf swing or free throw is for them an ingrained action stored in the striatum, the brain’s autopilot. The prefrontal cortex, our analytical thinker, doesn’t even need to show up. But under the gun, that super-smart part of the brain thinks it’s so great and tries to butt in.”