The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: So Rafael Nadal is playing some phenomenal tennis in Montreal.
• Weird scene at the Rogers Cup on Thursday: Tomas Berdych was issued a time violation during his loss to Vasek Pospisil and immediately served underhanded. When Berdych tried to claim the point, the umpire waved it off and wagged his finger at the Czech.
• Sloane Stephens tells The Wall Street Journal that her inability to do well at non-Grand Slam tournaments is entirely mental.
Her blueprint: pushing to overcome her flaws. With her coach David Nainkin, she is doing strength training aimed at producing an injury-proof core (she has been bothered by an abdominal muscle tear). She is focusing on serving harder and improving her footwork. She says her main goal is improving her mental toughness and concentration.
“The media has dubbed me as someone who can only get up for the big tournaments, and that is not who I want to be,” she said in an email this week. “I want to be a contender at every single tournament all year, and most of that is mental for me.”
• Milos Roanic’s controversial win over Juan Martin del Potro on Thursday at the Rogers Cup is still the talk of the town. Here’s Steve Tignor’s take on tennis’ code of honor and the ethics of not owning up to an infraction during a match.
[Umpire Mohamed] Lahyani either hadn’t seen the touch or had judged that the ball was already out of play—when the point was replayed on the stadium Jumbotron, Lahyani admitted that he had made a mistake.
That, at least was an honest mistake. How about Raonic’s? Should he have called the point against himself? There’s no question that a player should tell the umpire if he touches the net in a middle of a point. But when he hits a point-ending shot, is it also his job to decide whether that shot was still in play when he touched the net, and that he should forfeit the point? In general, I think that’s too much to ask of a player; those kinds of judgments are why we have umpires. In this case, though, while the person most at fault was Lahyani, it seemed to me that Raonic knew he had touched the net while the ball was in play, and he should have given the point to del Potro.
• Brian Baker returned at a Challenger in Aptos, Calif., and lost in the second round. But the most important thing is that he’s back after missing six months with a knee injury. He received a wild card for next week’s Western & Southern Open.
• Why women’s tennis has grown older and wiser.
• Cancer survivor Alisa Kleybanova isn’t back to playing tennis just for fun. She’s out there to win.
• The Rally with Tignor and Kamakshi Tandon is always a fun and informative read.
• Non-tennis: A great excerpt from a new book by Sports Illustrated‘s David Epstein, The Sports Gene, on the biology behind elite athletes.