The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Grigor Dimitrov pushed Rafael Nadal to three sets thanks to this crowd-pleasing shot in the third round of the Western and Southern Open last night.
• The ATP offers a more in-depth look at the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The two are set to play each other for the 31st time tonight in Cincinnati.
• Chuck Culpepper for Sports on Earth on Marion Bartoli’s retirement. He recounts one of his favorite Bartoli moments from her big win over Justine Henin at 2007 Wimbledon.
Moments later, she came into the interview room and said earnestly: “Well, to tell you the truth, as I said on BBC a few minutes ago, I saw Pierce Brosnan in the crowd, which is one of my favorite actors. I love his movies. I said to myself, ‘It’s not possible to play so bad in front of him.’ Because he watched me play and I play so bad it was unbelievable. So I try to feel a bit more the ball, play more smartly. I saw he was cheering for me, so I said, ‘Oh, maybe it’s good.’ I kept going and I won.”
Joe Montana had John Candy in Super Bowl XXIII in Miami, and in such a different way, Bartoli had Brosnan at Wimbledon. So a reporter mentioned the presence of Sir Cliff Richard, British pop singer, and wondered why Bartoli felt no distraction by other celebs.
Poor Sir Cliff and others had gone unnoticed: “I was focusing on Pierce Brosnan, because he is so beautiful. I was just watching him. He was the only one.” And: “I can watch James Bond a hundred times in a row. It’s not a problem for me.”
I always found this both a whole bale of charm and one of the more overlooked sports stories, the strange notion that an athlete could gather focus from spotting a celebrity in the stands. Could it be true? Henin said gracefully, “She’s working very, very hard, and I think finally after all the sacrifices she did, now she deserves this kind of result.” Henin said also: “I knew how well she could play, but today it was like she could close her eyes and play unbelievable tennis.”
• Jennifer Capriati is facing battery and stalking misdemeanor charges after she allegedly punched her ex-boyfriend. The trial has been set for December.
• Former doubles champion Bob Hewitt has been charged in a South African court with two counts of rape of young women he coached in the early 80s and one count of sexual assault with a minor.
• Agnieszka Radwanska has withdrawn from the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open to return home to Poland for her grandfather’s funeral, as he passed away earlier this week. The withdrawal gives defending champion Li Na a walkover into the semifinals.
• Maria Sharapova is featured in this month’s Shape Magazine.
• Saschia Vickery, who won a U.S. Open wildcard by winning the USTA Girls 18s National Championship, got some indirect help from former drug kingpin, Rick Ross, who now runs a foundation focusing on literacy among underprivileged youth.
• Non-tennis: From The Guardian: The stuntman who played James Bond in the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics died in a wing-diving accident.