The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Two greats meeting for the first time: Roger Federer and Pele.
• Everyone’s got something to say about Caroline Wozniacki’s impression of Serena Williams that had some mainstream non-tennis media calling it racist. Here’s SI.com’s Jon Wertheim’s take.
First, in no way do I think Wozniacki was being mean-spirited, much less racist. Serena was present in the arena, I’m told, and didn’t flinch. Plus, the two are friends: Remember that when Serena was hospitalized with an embolism, Wozniacki was the first player to call her. There’s a cultural relativism trope, too. Should Wozniacki, who grew up in Denmark, likely unaware about some of the historical connotations she was spoofing, be held accountable?
• Here’s Jemele Hill’s take for ESPN.com.
For the record, I think Williams is beautiful, and if there were any athlete’s body I could steal for myself, it would be hers. I’m also glad that Williams isn’t afraid to show the world that she’s proud of her body, regardless of what others might say about it. Exhibit A: The infamous catsuit. Wozniacki’s joke picked at some cultural insecurities, but who knows if she was even aware of them. Wozniacki might not exactly be Tina Fey, but she certainly isn’t Mel Gibson.
• And Greg Couch for Fox Sports, who says the problem is those who are making racist charges are doing so without context.
Part of the problem is that you have Williams fans who are not tennis fans. For people who don’t know, this probably comes across as someone taking a cold shot at Williams. Maybe they don’t realize that tennis players mimic other players all the time. Every tennis fan has seen video of Novak Djokovic’s on-court impersonations of Maria Sharapova and other players. He did an entire commercial for Head tennis racquets in a blonde wig, ending by saying, “My name is Maria Sharapova and my game is instinct.’’
You can’t expect everyone to understand. But it would be nice if talkers and analysts did, or at least studied up.
• And the issue snagged attention across the pond, too. Here’s Oliver Brown for The Telegraph, who says the problem with Wozniacki’s bit was it just wasn’t funny.
Tennis players might be supreme athletes, slavish gym rats, but they are — almost without exception — dreadful comedians. If I wanted to watch a master class in miming, I would choose Eddie Izzard’s brilliant imitation of a dyspeptic cow. I would not, even under duress, pay to see Novak Djokovic’s feeble impersonation of Maria Sharapova in a peroxide blonde wig.
• L’Equipe names Serena Williams its sportswoman of the year.
• Kim Clijsters beat Venus Williams in a hometown farewell exhibition in Belgium. Nice of Venus to be there for that.
• DVR Alert: Maria Sharapova will be on The Tonight Show this evening.
• Nigel Willerton is the new head of the ITF’s Tennis Integrity Unit. Can he start by looking into why the ATP allows tournaments to be sponsored by betting agencies?
• Lots of interesting business news here, including IMG’s going up for sale next year and a Jimmy Connors documentary in the works for ESPN.
• Non-tennis: Never stop searching: Google takes a look back at 2012.