The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Serena Williams cruised past Mandy Minella 6-1, 6-3 in the first round Tuesday.
• This is how they sell tennis in Britain: Novak Djokovic’s abs.
• Williams is checking in with USA Today throughout Wimbledon.
It’s been some eventful days since the recent Rolling Stone article. As I said in my press conference, I had some great conversations with the Steubenville rape victim and her family. It was ironic because when we spoke she said, ‘Maybe you can help’ — and we almost said it at the exact same moment. She sent me some information on shelters for rape victims, and we are talking about raising funds and awareness for various shelters. I’m working close with her on this, and we’re actually becoming good friends.
• In that vein, Serena has issued a revised apology regarding her Steubenville comments.
• On an outside court on Day 1, Melanie Oudin and Michelle Larcher de Brito, who were once promising prospects, battled it out.
• Does tennis have a match-fixing problem?
A few years ago, Gilles Elseneer — whose highest ranking was No. 97 in 2004 — told a Belgian television station that he personally refused an offer of about $140,000 to lose a first-round match at Wimbledon in 2005. How many of his equally anonymous peers would make a different choice, given that an average midlevel player spends nearly that much out of pocket just on traveling to tournaments in a given year?
Discussing match-fixing with the BBC in 2007, Andy Murray called the practice “disappointing” but acknowledged that “everyone knows that it goes on.” Describing the financial temptation for a journeyman player, he sounded almost sympathetic.
“A career lasts probably only 10 or 12 years and you have to make all your money while you’re still playing,” Murray said. “There are some guys who have to come to tournaments every single week and out of their first-round-loser’s check — about 2,500 euros — they have to pay for their air fares.”
• Some insight into the coaching relationship between Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl in Men’s Journal.
On the practice court, Lendl urges Murray to watch for the slightest sign of weakness across the net. “Take more swinging volleys,” Lendl says after Murray waits one beat too many to unload on a weak shot. “You let them bounce in Miami.”
What intrigued Lendl was that for all Murray’s hard work and success, he’d still hang his head against the likes of Federer and Djokovic, as if he didn’t belong in their company. Lendl, the man everyone mistook for a tennis robot, could see that Murray needed to loosen up. “You have to have fun,” Lendl says. “Once you work hard and do everything you can, the result is irrelevant. The key is to have conviction that what you are doing is the right thing.”
• At 15, Laura Robson towered over Justin Timberlake. She was bummed.
In conversation, her dry-as-a-bone sense of humour pokes through at judicious moments, such as when she mimics US stereotypes of the British with an eye-roll and hammed-up received pronunciation: ‘They think we all drink tea and eat scones at 4.30 in the afternoon, and just pop down to Buckingham Palace.’
Later, the 5’11” Robson reminisces about meeting Justin Timberlake for the first time: ‘We met him one year at Wimbledon, and he was just a bit shorter than me.’ Beat. ‘And I was 15 at the time.’ Beat. ‘It was really disappointing.’
• Non-tennis: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Supermoon!