The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Diego Maradona calls Roger Federer “The Machine.” Can the ATP adopt him as a mascot?
• Tom Perrotta for The Wall Street Journal with some thoughts on Federer and Rafael Nadal trying to chase down the younger and fitter Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
And so we arrive at the odd reality of tennis in 2013, where Federer and Nadal aren’t so much rivals, but co-conspirators working toward a common goal: toppling Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, two younger, fitter players whose confidence continues to grow. Rather than compete all the time—and win all the time—they’re taking different approaches in hopes of winning the tournaments that matter most.
• Peter Bodo on why the sale of IMG probably means a significant change is coming to tennis.
Of course, the sale of IMG also is a milestone that, when consummated, is bound to have repercussions in the game—most of them inconspicuous, or at any rate undeclared, but potentially significant. Will tennis eventually adopt a glitzy halftime show, complete with pyrotechnics (like the Super Bowl), between the doubles and singles finals at certain IMG-run tournaments? I suppose it could happen if a more aggressive and less tennis-savvy outfit ends up owning IMG.
• Li Na has withdrawn from next week’s World Tennis Day exhibition in Hong Kong, citing an ankle injury. Here’s hoping she’s just taking precautionary measures in advance of Indian Wells. Surely that ankle must be healed by now, right?
• Non-tennis: From McSweeney’s, Banned Performance Enhancing Substances In Literary Competitions.