Daily Bagel: Inside the combination of Sloane Stephens and Paul Annacone

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

• Video: TennisTV selects their top five ATP matches of the season.

• Peter Bodo looks at the intriguing combination of Sloane Stephens and Paul Annacone.

Coaches often must be adept at amateur psychology, even with the very best players. [Pete] Sampras had a tendency to want to beat guys at their own games, but Annacone always wanted him to go out and dictate with that explosive game — “Show them that you’re Pete Sampras and they’re not.”

Stephens needs a measure of that sort of support; every player does, and more often more than you might think. Yet I don’t see Stephens as a player who needs a lot of stroking. Drama queen? Yes. Needy? Not so much. Annacone would not make a very good Svengali, so it would be a good thing if his charge didn’t expect him to be one.

In fact, the things Stephens most seems to need are the ones Annacone is good at providing. Those include a sound, practical grasp of strategy and tactics. Given Stephens’ degree of power, she’s been a very instinctive player — to her detriment, I think. She’s often been too content to react to what her opponent is doing, rather than taking charge. And she’s suffered some puzzling lapses of concentration.

• A phenomenal tennis quiz put together by Canada’s Tom Tebbutt. Good luck!

• Juan Martin del Potro has been named Argentina’s Sportsman of the Year for the second time in his career.

• More year-end nostalgia: The BNP Paribas Open blog puts together their fan awards.

• The ATP finishes its countdown of the biggest comebacks of the season.

• No Australian Open comeback for Jelena Dokic.

• Andy Murray is the overwhelming favorite to win the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, but he won’t be attending the ceremony. Apparently this is a big deal.

• Non-tennis: From The Big Picture: The world mourns Nelson Mandela.

  • Published On Dec 10, 2013

    Sloan does not construct points at all. Don't know if Anacone is the best at it but she's the worst so she has nowhere to go but up.