Daily Bagel: Rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray lacking?

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The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Photo: Andy Roddick (left) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are among the celebrities teeing it up at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week. (Credit: San Jose Mercury News/MCT/Landov)

• Interesting thoughts from’s Steve Tignor on what’s missing in the rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

I want to like Djokovic vs. Murray. I enjoy their games, their personalities, and their individual rivalries with [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal. But of all of their matches this year and last, the only one that struck me as memorable for something other than length was the final in Shanghai. It seems like their playing styles, which are similar in their reliance on consistency and defense, tend to irritate, rather than inspire, each other.

Perhaps more important, though, while their matches have been close and the wins and losses have gone back and forth, their rivalry lacks a psychological dimension. Neither is older or younger; neither is the established king or the upstart challenger; there’s nothing Oedipal, or Fedipal, going on between them. Those are the elements that give a Grand Slam final an edge.

Murray and David Beckham chatted at the LTA’s National Training Centre in Roehampton. Beckham has been training there this week.

Marion Bartoli is out of France’s Fed Cup tie with Germany after catching the flu this week. It would have been her first Fed Cup appearance since 2004 after almost a decade of disagreement with the FFT. Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic have also withdrawn for Serbia, citing injury.

• Via Matt Cronin, Germany Tennis Magazine reports that the WTA’s tournament in Barcelona will be relocated to Nuremberg, Germany, the week after the French Open this year. The tournament will remain on clay. Good to see Germany get more tournaments. Well deserved with its current crop of talent, and the WTA needs a stronger presence in that market.

• Good read at Tennis Grandstand on the WTA’s generation of lost talent that includes Nicole Vaidisova, Tatiana Golovin, Anna Chakvetadze and recently retired Agnes Szavay.

• From Vamos Brigade, a fan translates the L’Equipe interview with Rafael Nadal. If the translation is accurate, this might be the best interview I’ve ever read from Nadal.

• Non-tennis: Grantland’s Brian Phillips on soccer’s match-fixing scandal.

  • Published On Feb 08, 2013

    It's still a little early in the history of the (big) match results.  Andy would need one single beatdown to make it interesting.


    There's a grain of truth in what Tignor says if you look at the psychological perspective but even Fedal had a few duds.  The rivalry has produced some stunning tennis from both players - sometimes simultaneously - but it is also still evolving.  Having said that, Rafandy is more intriguing but I like both.


    Shanghai was the only memorable match?  I thought the Olympics SF was pretty memorable (and significant in hindsight) as well as the WTF RR match.  The AO SF was pretty memorable too (I don't quite get Steve's indifference over that one).  And it should be noted that Steve seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Nolandy matches: when compiling a list of top 10 ATP matches in 2011 he omitted the Rome SF and a reader had to remind him.