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Daily Bagel: Andy Murray, Mr. Popularity

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The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Video: Kimiko Date-Krumm, 42, ousted No. 2 seed Maria Kirilenko at the Korea Open on Wednesday. You know the rule: When Kimiko scores a big win, we all have to watch her Kirin commercial.

• Is Andy Murray more appealing to American consumers than we give him credit for? According to this piece from The New York Times, Murray scored higher popularity numbers than the other members of the Big Four. Yes, even more than Roger Federer.

Roger Federer, not surprisingly, leads in overall DBI score [which quantifies consumer perceptions of celebrities] , with 63.2 out of 100, followed by Murray’s 52.61, [Rafael] Nadal’s 50.34 and [Novak] Djokovic’s 41.79.

The overall score is heavily weighted on awareness, and Federer was known by 61 percent of those surveyed. Nadal and Murray are tied at 41 percent, while Djokovic is at a surprisingly low 26 percent.

But in the seven other attribute categories that make up a celebrity’s score — appeal, aspiration, breakthrough, endorsement, influence, trend setter and trust — Murray leads the way among the Big Four. That is an unexpected result, considering Murray has far fewer championships than the other three and has a reputation for being mercurial on the court.

• The players who drove the conversation on social media during the U.S. Open.

• Tennis Now has a great interview with Dmitry Tursunov, one of the more outspoken players on the men’s tour. Here are his thoughts on Rafael Nadal’s remarkable season:

It’s a tough topic because a lot of people insinuate that he’s not just taking Flintstones to play so well. We all have to do something a little extra because we have to maintain the level we need to compete. I’m not talking about something illegal or something hard-core. I don’t know, maybe he does have butt implants. That seems to be the topic of the locker room (laughs).

I think he’s definitely exceptional in a lot of ways. Mentally, he’s able to focus in a way that not a lot of people are able to. I think he loves just the grind of it. He loves the challenge of it. I’m not the person who likes to go out and compete for the hell of it. I’d rather go lay on a couch somewhere.

Rafa is able to focus, not to win the tournament and say, like, “Holy crap, I did such a good job! Let’s go party somewhere in Mallorca and Ibiza!” He wins the French Open and the next day he’s practicing for two hours in Queens. I’m sure he takes certain steps to give himself the best chance to get there, whether it’s taking Flintstones or eating correctly. It’s a little bit unfair from our side to say, “For sure, this guy is juicing,” because in our minds, we’d rather believe he’s doing a quick fix instead of believing he works for seven hours like a horse to get there.

• The Miami Herald laments the lack of Hispanic-American players on the pro circuit.

• Ana Ivanovic has taken a wild card into the Tournament of Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria. She won the event in 2010 and ’11.

• Non-tennis: Football through the eyes of non-Americans.

  • Published On Sep 19, 2013
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