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Daily Bagel: Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska take dance break

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

• Video: Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska took a dance break on Monday during their exhibition match at the BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong.

• Mardy Fish opens up to USA Today about his struggle to get back to tennis after complications from a heart problem made it difficult to trust his body.

“It took me months and months to get back to normalcy — to have a glass of wine at dinner, to go out to a movie with my wife,” Fish said Monday night at a charity exhibition in Los Angeles. “Just those normal things that you take for granted I wasn’t able to do for a long time.”

• Steve Tignor says Victoria Azarenka’s struggles to be a crowd favorite go against the very qualities that have made her an elite player.

The most dominant aspect of her on-court personality is her inwardness. She dances to her own music before matches. She keeps the world at a distance with her hoodie and her headphones. In her dark leggings, she dresses for comfort rather than photogenic fashion. She talks often about how important her focus is to her game. Vika’s so focused that she sometimes seems to forget that the crowd or the other player is there—she does, as so many champs do, what’s best for her. Hence the Sloane Stephens incident. Hence the history of withdrawals from matches and events. Hence the way Azarenka, as she gets into her receiving stance, will raise her hand to slow down the server to her pace. Even after annoying Serena with that move in Doha, Vika unconsciously did the same thing a few times against her at the Garden on Monday night.

• Peter Bodo writes on the renewed focus on doping in tennis, noting that as opposed to other sports it’s the players, not the administrators, who are asking for a crackdown.

Speculation about doping in tennis is a veritable cottage industry among some skeptical fans, and there have been enough high-profile busts (dopers Mariano Puerta, a French Open finalist, and Australian Open champ Petr Korda leap to mind) to justify vigilance and stimulate suspicions that sometimes spill over into the realm of the wildly irresponsible. Tennis is no pure oasis in the desert of contemporary sports.

But what is unique about this new focus on anti-doping is that it wasn’t driven in large part by an outcry among administrators, insiders and/or critics. The prime movers were the very top players, which helps explain why the reaction in the tennis establishment has been so swift.

• Pete Sampras weighs in on all the doping talk and says he believes tennis isn’t sophisticated enough to allow for widespread abuse.

“It’s just my feeling,” Sampras said Monday night after playing doubles with top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the Los Angeles Tennis Challenge exhibition.

“I don’t think players are that sophisticated in tennis,” he said, referring to the elaborate system Armstrong used to avoid detection. “It’s not their culture. I don’t think it’s in their nature.”

• Greg Garber of ESPN.com on two of the newest inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Charlie Pasarell and Cliff Drysdale.

• The Daily Mail catches up with Dominika Cibulkova.

• Non-tennis: A little boy rocks out at an LMFAO concert. If Azarenka needs a new bestie, he should be candidate No. 1.

  • Published On Mar 05, 2013
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