The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Rafael Nadal won his first match in seven months Tuesday, teaming up with good friend Juan Monaco to beat Lukas Dlouhy and Frantisek Cermak 6-3, 6-2 at the VTR Open in Chile. We’ll get a better look at Nadal on Wednesday when he kicks off his singles campaign against Federico Debonis. Tennis Channel will air the comeback match at 4 p.m. ET.
• Here’s what Rafa had to say about his anticipated comeback from a knee injury:
“There is no risk of making it worse. My knee keeps hurting. But the fact I am playing here is a thing of joy.”
“I am not 100 percent, I need some weeks,” he added. “If it hurts, it hurts and we’ll put up with it. I am here to play tennis, with or without pain. … I’m happy to have played an official game, although it was doubles.”
“I need for the knee be stronger, to be more comfortable playing all out,” Nadal said. “There are days when the knee is not comfortable. … Today I am in the second round of doubles and tomorrow I start in singles. I’m not going to speak more about the knee. What’s coming up is tennis, and that’s why I am here to try to play as well as I can.
“The more hours I am on the court, the better,” he added. “Today was important, but in another aspect it wasn’t so important. The most important was just to be here. There is no doubt that perhaps the result here is not the overriding thing. I’ll do all I can to win and play as well as I can.”
• Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of Arthur Ashe’s death, and these two pieces by tennis historian Steve Flink and legendary agent Donald Dell, for whom Ashe was a client and friend, are a must-read. Writes Dell:
People often ask me what Arthur was like in private. Was he really that good? My answer is yes — more than anyone I’ve known, Arthur walked the walk. The private man was sincere and loyal, with a quiet sense of humor. His quiet philosophy often hid a raging noble soul.
• ESPN.com’s Howard Bryant contemplates the frustrating case of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Is he the Tony Romo of the ATP?
Tsonga, like Romo, puts up big numbers, can never be completely overlooked because of his ability and yet – and yet – will always find a way to break hearts with the crucial error at the worst possible time. Just when it seems that Tsonga has finally broken through, he (like Romo) will be the one wondering and explaining why things didn’t seem to work out for him.
• The Heavy Topspin blog crunches the numbers and determines that upsets at Davis Cup are about as common as upsets at a Slam. Which is to say, they’re really not all that common.
• Non-tennis: Stop what you’re doing, fire up Hulu and watch the pilot for FX’s new Cold War drama, The Americans. So good.