The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: The Cautionary Tale of Ebenezer Snoop, as narrated by … Snoop. Stan Smith plays the Ghost of Holiday Past. And animated cameos from Andy Murray and Caroline Wozniacki? Blink and you’ll miss them. Bah-humbizzle.
• The Heineken Open has released its field for the Australian Open tune-up in Auckland, New Zealand, in January. One notable piece of news is that Mardy Fish has withdrawn because of health reasons. Fish underwent a procedure to correct a heart arrhythmia in May and shut down his season after being advised to withdraw from his fourth-round match against Roger Federer at the U.S. Open. Defending champion David Ferrer will be the top seed in Auckland.
UPDATE: Reuters reports that Fish will skip the Australian Open as he continues to recover from health issues related to heart surgery. Worrisome stuff.
“The good news is that Mardy’s health is improving and he is back on the court slowing getting back into his regular workouts,” Fish’s agent, John Tobias, said in an email to Reuters as he confirmed the American’s comeback date.
• Sports Illustrated‘s S.L. Price on why Serena Williams is his Sportsperson of the Year.
In all, Williams conjured up the most surprisingly dominant performance, man or woman, of 2012, providing backbone for the best season of women’s tennis in years and forestalling the American game’s seemingly inevitable slide into oblivion.
That litany alone, of course, is enough to justify naming her the 2012 Sportswoman of the Year. Williams, though, is this writer’s pick as much because in an era of endlessly revealed misdeed and shame, in this age of Barry and Tiger and Lance — oh, my! — she presented a road map for moving forward after an ugly binge of self-destruction.
• Roger Federer says he can relate to Bernard Tomic’s struggle to deal with pressure and expectation.
• Li Na and Marion Bartoli will headline the WTA’s new stop in Shenzen, China, which starts Dec. 31. Jelena Jankovic, Peng Shuai and Laura Robson are also in the field.
• Steve Tignor on Alfred Hitchcock’s use of tennis in films.
• Matt Cronin lays out the cases for five WTA coach of the year candidates. Sam Sumyk (Victoria Azarenka) and Pablo Lozano (Sara Errani) would be my front-runners.
• Andy Murray is on the short list for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, but he probably won’t win. Boy, those Brits reaaaaally love their cycling sports, huh?
• The WTA offers a statistical look at Serena Williams’ best seasons. She had a higher winning percentage this year compared to her 2002 season.
• Nice to see that tour pro Sergei Bubka is back on his feet again. The 25-year-old Ukrainian was in surgery for nine hours after suffering a three-story fall in France.
• Nathalie Tauziat is refusing to resign from the French Tennis Federation for testifying in support of her former coach Regis de Camaret, who was sentenced to eight years in prison last week for raping young female players.
“I have two months in office,” Tauziat told French newspaper Sud Ouest. “I have no reason to do so. I did not know that testifying in court was a crime.”
• Ryan Harrison served as a groomsman at Matthew Ebden’s wedding last weekend.
• Maria Sharapova stepped into the batter’s box to shoot a Head commercial.
• Non-tennis: A solid compilation of workout fails.