The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: An emotional Grigor Dimitrov thanks “my girlfriend” for some key words before he took the court to upset Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Madrid Open on Tuesday. Come on, Grigor, you gotta tell us what Maria Shara… — I mean, “your girlfriend” — said.
• Laura Robson has reportedly split with coach Zeljko Krajan. Robson beat fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-1 in the second round in Madrid on Monday without Krajan by her side.
• Here’s what John Tomic has said over the years about his relationship with son Bernard and why he refuses to hand over the coaching reins. He may not have a choice now.
John’s fear is that by handing his son over to another coach, the unpredictable playing style that makes him a threat to the best players in the world will be drilled out of him.
“I know what I am doing and I will continue to improve Bernard as a player,” the physically imposing former taxi driver said in that Wimbledon interview two years ago.
“We have to do something different than the rest of the world. If we are the same, where will we be?”
• Loved this idea for a book from this thought-provoking piece by Peter Bodo: “Gut, Grass, and Graphite: Why tennis dynasties rise and fall.”
Since Open tennis, the fortunes of every nation have waxed and waned. Dynasties or near-dynasties rise, and they fall. That appears to be the natural order of things, at least where you have anything like a level playing field, and adequate access to the game.
My own feeling is that there’s also something like “excellence fatigue,” and everyone is susceptible to it. Dynasties have a lifespan in the public imagination as well as the standings and results tables. Nations whose dynasties have crumbled needn’t look for complicated theories for why this is so—for every nation that rues the lack of a government-funded development program, there’s one with such a program that isn’t really achieving the desired result. For every nation that wonders where all the great players went, there’s another starting to churn them out.
• Andy Murray says it wasn’t the altitude but Florian Mayer’s erratic game that gave him breathing problems on Tuesday, when the Scot escaped with a 7-6 (11) 7-6 (3) victory. We don’t call him “Funky Flo” for nothing.
• Juan José Vallejo of The Changeover unearths an interesting fact: Jack Sock has received a wild card into every one of his ATP main-draw appearances. Put differently, Sock has never qualified for a tournament in his pro career.
• Maria Sharapova dons a swimsuit for Esquire Latin America.
• Non-tennis: My favorite tweet about Wednesday’s big news that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is stepping down.