The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Tennis impressionist Josh Berry is at it again. Check out his imitations of John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Andy Roddick and more in his U.S. Open preview.
• Lengthy read from The New York Times on Li Na, China’s tennis rebel.
The vibe in Li’s camp was so positive that nobody anticipated the attack on her that same day in People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party. “When star athletes’ personalities have become insufferable by the standard of social customs and traditions” the editorial read, “who is to rein in their unchecked insolence?”
Despite China’s desire to have Li embody the country’s ambitions, she has made it clear that she plays for herself as much, if not more, than for her homeland. “When people say that I represent the nation,” she told me later, “that is too big a hat for me to wear.” Li’s independent streak is part of what makes her resonate deeply with China’s younger generation, who have nicknamed her Big Sister Na. But for the country’s leaders (be they national, athletic or media), this is a fundamental challenge to the way the Chinese Communist Party has rallied its subjects for 64 years.
Li said she didn’t see the People’s Daily editorial. Rodriguez forbids her, as best he can, from reading media coverage during tournaments, and Jiang acts as sentry to shield her from articles that might affect her mood. Still, when the coverage stings, Jiang tries to soothe her. “We Chinese have a saying: ‘For any hero, half will compliment, half will slander,’ ” he said. “I tell her to forget the attacks, the pressure, the expectations. But it’s hard to forget. We’re only human.”
• Redfoo says Victoria Azarenka “seduced” him because “her grunt is perfectly in the key of F.” I’m going to leave that alone.
• The ATP computer rankings turn 40 years old on Thursday.
• Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley is replacing Steve Wood as Tennis Australia’s chief executive.
• U.S. sanctions against Iran ruled out an Iranian umpire from working at the U.S. Open.
• Canadian doubles specialist Daniel Nestor, 40, notched his 900th career win. That’s a lot of wins!
• Bye-bye, Prince: Babolat will be the official supplier of rackets, bags and accessories at Wimbledon.
• Sam Querrey saved five match points to defeat Jarkko Nieminen 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10) in the third round of the Winston-Salem Open on Wednesday.
• Non-tennis: The panic over MSG was overblown.