The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Venus and Serena Williams do a commercial for Apple. What’s up with their makeup?
• The big overnight news is Bernard Tomic’s 6-4, 6-4 win over Novak Djokovic at Hopman Cup. As you can see from these highlights, the young Aussie was in the zone. Granted it was an exhibition event, but this might have been the best performance of Tomic’s career. He served at 75 percent and mixed it up off the ground with a good balance of aggressive and off-pace balls.
• Here’s a gif of Ana Ivanovic leaping in Djokovic’s arms for a hug. Just because.
• I’ve seen cats and sheiks on the courts in Doha, but I’ve yet to see a pothole. Until now. Looks like the main court in Doha broke apart during David Ferrer’s opening-round match against Dustin Brown. Gotta love Andy Roddick’s response on Twitter, which recalled the 2011 incident with Ferrer when bubbles on the court led Roddick to march the crowd to Court 13 to get the match played.
• Sloane Stephens beat Sofia Arvidsson to make the quarterfinals of Brisbane where she’ll face … Serena Williams. That’s a great test for Stephens.
• Maria Sharapova, who withdrew from Brisbane due to a collarbone injury, does not plan to take a wild card into any tournaments next week. So just like last year, she’ll go into the Australian Open with no match play. She played her way into the final last year, so I wouldn’t be too worried.
• Andy Murray offers Sam Stosur some advice on dealing with the pressure of playing at home. He would know.
“Forget about everyone else and be extremely selfish for the next three weeks and I am sure she has the game to go well,” Murray said. “You need to try to get into a little bubble.
• Nikolay Davydenko with a tongue-in-cheek response as to whether he’s missing Rafael Nadal:
“Me? No! I don’t think so much about that (Nadal’s injury). For sure he will come back for the clay court season. And then he will try to win everything he can. Nadal is Nadal. The fans may miss him but not the players (smiles).”
• Australia’s John Millman, barely ranked inside the top 200, spends most of his time on the ATP Challenger and Futures circuit, tennis’ equivalent to baseball’s minor leagues. Some of his stories would make a great “Bull Durham”-type screenplay. How about this one from a tournament in South Korea:
“The hotel was horrible, it was outside the city and some of the players were getting food poisoning. No one would deliver food from the city out to the hotel so most of us would stay at the courts from seven in the morning to 10 at night and order pizzas because going back to the hotel was so depressing.
“I was watching an Aussie guy playing doubles at a really important stage in the match when this scooter drives straight up to the court and the rider walks out into the middle with his pizza boxes and tries to get the guy serving to pay. The player ended up double faulting and getting broken and he went absolutely nuts. It was that sort of place and that sort of tournament.”
• This is a great read from Steve Tignor on the life of Art Larsen, a tennis hall of famer who passed away in December. He was a character.
At set point in the third set, Larsen had an easy putaway at the net. Forbes watched in horror as Tappy, instead of belting a conventional overhead, started his wind up and then, at the last second, turned his frame around and used the butt cap to drop the ball an inch over the net for a winner.
“Scared you badly, eh kid?” a grinning Larsen said to the younger, and much more anxious, Forbes.
• Mahesh Bhupathi has reportedly made peace with the All Indian Tennis Association and may play Davis Cup next month. Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna were suspended from Davis Cup play by AITA after refusing to pair with Leander Paes at the Olympics. That ban has been stayed.
• Congrats to Maria Kirilenko and Alexander Ovechkin on their engagement.
• Here’s a rough translation of Piotr Wozniacki’s five-minute coaching timeout during Caroline’s three-set opening round loss to Ksenia Pervak. The fact that he ends with “be positive” is a solid example of dark polish humor.
• Lindsay Gibbs of The Changeover puts together a solid list of the best tennis writing of 2012.
• The ATP has launched a new marketing campaign: BEAT THIS. It will be replacing their previous campaign, “FEEL IT”. No really, I’m not cracking a joke here.
• Bookmark this for a rainy day: Bernard Tomic vs. Tommy Haas at this year’s Hopman Cup. It was a great match.
• Here’s Ana Ivanovic throwing and kicking her racket. Not exactly the most intimidating video I’ve ever seen.
• Non-tennis: You saw Jadeveon Clowney’s hit against Michigan, right?