The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Racket smashes, tweeners, grunting and complete and utter anarchy. The writers for ABC’s Happy Endings squeeze every tennis cliché into this three-minute montage of a mixed doubles match between friends cued, as every sporting event should be, to Kenny Loggins’ Playing With the Boys.
• In case you missed the weekend reports: Bernard Tomic’s father, John, allegedly assaulted his son’s hitting partner. We’ll have more on this story later.
• Andy Roddick may join Fox Sports 1 as an analyst, according to SI.com’s Richard Deitsch,
• Hard to argue with Pete Bodo’s contention that the ATP Tour would be even more interesting if these four players figured out how to play well consistently.
The men mentioned above are, in order of appearance, Benoit Paire, Ernests Gulbis, Grigor Dimitrov, and Fabio Fognini. Each of them seems poised to make a breakthrough, although their peers and rivals might just put that down to the media once again crying, “Wolf!” For you could have whittled a lot of toothpicks out of raw limber waiting for Gulbis to fulfill his potential, and the “Baby Federer” nickname bestowed on Dimitrov hangs as much like an albatross as an endorsement.
Still. These are four of the most entertaining players on the planet, and they represent a renaissance of the class of player commonly referred to as the “head case.” Eccentric, charismatic knuckleheads have been well-represented in tennis over the years, some of them have even won Grand Slam events and/or hit No. 1 in the rakings (Ilie Nastase, anyone?).
• An update from Australia’s The Age on 17-year-old Ashleigh Barty, who seems like a good, down-to-earth kid.
She jokes that January did not really change anything, for she is still as she has always been. ”I just kind-of go about my business. I’m a pretty quiet person really and I like to keep to myself a little bit, so I’m not the type that goes out there and seeks attention; I just come and go the way I do, walking around in my hoodie … especially when the weather’s like this, no one really recognises me.”
The more obvious improvement is in her bank balance, swollen by $146,850 from the Australian Open fortnight alone. Barty has not spent much of it, and most enjoys the gifts she can buy for the sisters she now sees so rarely. For herself, nothing too grand, or expensive. ”I don’t really need a car, cos I don’t drive anywhere,” says the L-plater. ”Don’t need a house; mum and dad have got one of those. So I don’t know. I’m just kind of saving up.”
• Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson reunited in Madrid but lost in the first round. Raymond’s blog about their partnership is still a good read.
• Juan Martin del Potro, who withdrew from Madrid with a viral infection, was back home in Argentina watching a soccer game.