The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: ATP Uncovered catches up with Tomas Berdych, who’s trying to break into the top five.
• The Austin American-Statesman checks in with Andy Roddick as he settles into retirement.
In August — on his 30th birthday — Roddick announced his retirement. Since then, he’s fielded questions from fans about his plans, post-pro-circuit.
“I retired from tennis, not from life,” says Roddick, dressed in a zipped-up Davis Cup jacket. “People think I take a lot of naps.”
In fact, he still plays tennis, mostly exhibition matches.
“You don’t have to be prepared,” he admits. “Just show up.”
Roddick also works out, travels, makes endorsements and spends time in Los Angeles, the career base for wife, actress and swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker.
“It’s new territory,” says Roddick, who sounds more worldly, reflective these days. “Every day that I’d woken up, before last September, I knew what I was going to do that day.”
• There’s been a lot of talk over the years about the homogenization of court speed. Heavy Top Spin looked at some data points to determine whether it’s true.
When we turn to ace rate, the trend provides even less support for the surface-convergence theory…. Here again, the most diverse results occurred during the 5-year span from 2003 to 2007, when hard-court aces were 51.3% higher than clay-court aces. Since then, the difference has fallen to 46%, still a relatively large gap, one that only occurred in two single years before 2003.
If surfaces are converging, why is there a bigger difference in aces now than there was 10, 15, or 20 years ago? Why don’t we see hard-court break rates getting any closer to clay-court break rates?
However fast or high balls are bouncing off of today’s tennis surfaces, courts just aren’t playing any less diversely than they used to.
• Toni Nadal thinks Jerzy Janowicz could eventually be No. 1.
• Andy Murray will play in Great Britain’s Davis Cup tie in September after the British B-team scored a nice win over Russia last week.
• ATP chairman Brad Drewett looks back at the first quarter of the season.
• Boise got a $2 million economic boost from hosting Davis Cup.
• The Belgian Fed Cup team could be without its top two players when it takes on Poland next week.
• Sam Stosur’s coach, Dave Taylor, says Stosur’s withdrawal from Charleston was merely precautionary and that she should be fine for the clay season.
• Non-tennis: Why Bull Durham is the best baseball movie ever.