The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: The ATP looks back at four players who retired in 2012: Fernando Gonzalez, Ivan Ljubicic, Andy Roddick, and Juan Carlos Ferrero.
• Peter Bodo writes that even among the Big Four, there has to be a Top Dog. With his win at the World Tour Finals, Novak Djokovic proved he’s the leader of the pack.
I don’t care what the rankings said: If [Roger] Federer or [Andy] Murray had won the WTF, it surely would have meant there’s no clear No. 1 in men’s tennis — just a mathematically determined one. And we would embark on 2013 less curious about how the big four would fare than about whether anyone can jump into the driver’s seat in the men’s game; they really are different questions.
It’s always good to have someone in clear command. It’s a little like that famous line in George Orwell’s novel, “Animal Farm”: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. In tennis, we need unequal animals. We don’t need a big four as much as a big four in which one man is a little bigger, a little more equal, than the others.
• Jan Kodes, who helped Czechoslovakia win the 1980 Davis Cup title, describes the significance of the team competition back then:
“We were under constant pressure,” said Kodes, the 1973 Wimbledon champion, who was on the Czechoslovak team that lost the 1975 Davis Cup final but lifted the trophy five years later. “In the eyes of the authorities, the Davis Cup was far more important than individual trophies from tournaments, including Grand Slam events,” the 66-year-old said in an interview.
“A defeat at Roland Garros? No problem. But losing in the Davis Cup meant trouble,” smiled the 1970 and 1971 French Open champion.
• Regis de Cameret, a former French tennis coach who coached Nathalie Tauziat, is on trial for allegedly raping two girls who attended his academy in St. Tropez.
• Tomas Berdych and Janko Tipsarevic have confirmed for Chennai.
• WTA No. 19 Kaia Kanepi might miss the Australian Open while recovering from heel surgery. Her ranking could plummet if she can’t defend her Brisbane title.
• Non-tennis: If you didn’t see Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s overhead goal against England on Wednesday, you may have missed the greatest goal of our lifetime.