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Daily Bagel: Martina Navratilova weighs in on Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams

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

• Video: I missed this shot last week: Rafael Nadal does demoralizing things to Ernests Gulbis at the Qatar Open.

• In an espnW story, Martina Navratilova offers up a contrast between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

“People know Maria as being a very classy girl, so [what she said about Serena at Wimbledon] caught a lot of people off guard,” he [Sharapova's agent, Max Eisenbud] said, “[but] you know how many players and other people came up to her after and told her they loved what she said? A lot.

“She’s very real, and there aren’t many very real female tennis players and that’s what really separates her. … People know what’s real and not real. Yes, she’s beautiful and plays great, but her realness is why she is such a great partner to her sponsors. There’s nobody else like that on tour.”

“What she said about Serena, I’m sure she wishes she hadn’t said it, but she’s one of the most honest players out there,” Navratilova said of Sharapova. “She gives you more than anybody, which is such a contrast to Serena, who doesn’t give you anything.”

• Meanwhile, Serena has a new photo shoot coming out …

• As Kamakshi Tandon details for ESPN.com, a lot has changed since the beginning of the 2013 season.

The New York Times‘ Ben Rothenberg on James McGee, Ireland’s only player in the ATP top 400, who tells it like it really is for lower-ranked players grinding outside of the glitz and glamour of the main tour.

Lacking the prize money or sponsorship to employ a coach, McGee has to travel alone most of the year, which can be difficult for an athlete who ends nearly every week with a loss.

“I’ve had some really rough moments, to be honest, on my own,” McGee said. “Especially after losses. Especially going back to a hotel room after a match you should’ve won, and you had match points, or whatever, and you’re in, of all places, you’re in Romania. I remember that experience in Romania this year. I was on my own, and you really have those soul-searching moments, like, why am I doing this?”

• An often hilarious read by Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian on the mysterious world of Bernard Tomic.

He is fluent in Croatian and tennis, but does not always make himself understood in life. The emphasis is on the second syllable of Bernard’s first name, American style, although he is widely known as Bernie. He pronounces Tomic with a hard “c”, to sound “less ethnic, more Australian”, according to a source close to the player. It doesn’t make much sense. That is not unusual in Tomic World, a playground of endless surprises.

Ana Ivanovic turned to a Serbian support team, including new coach Nemanja Kontic, and her title drought ended. Could that be the secret? From CNN.com:

In Kontic, Ivanovic may not have a wise professor on her hands as she did with [former coach Nigel] Sears, yet the 32-year-old, ranked 1,635th in men’s doubles, is able to offer her something that respect within the game cannot always buy — a shared cultural identity.

“I’m really enjoying someone who speaks the same language and can understand you,” Ivanovic said.

• “The last time …” with the always entertaining Dmitry Tursunov.

• Non-tennis: Baby elephant. Cuddle. Roll tape.

  • Published On Jan 09, 2014
  • 30 comments
    zoezoe
    zoezoe

    Why before every Glam Slam, people like to torment Serena ?

    maria_pashova
    maria_pashova

    I am laughing out at media titles these days. They are making intrigues, not the players. What Martina Navratilova said was true but again no one here is reading and want  to take the author's misleading style of writing for real. I can't understand why people don't go to the source and check for themselves, why people don't listen to the actual press conferences and see the context of the answers, why so many unbelievably pointless articles are written. I think I won't go to read these sporting sites anymore, it's completely irrelevant. I will stick to tennis and watch this beautiful game. So I will say Bye and I'll go on sites only to check the results, that's it.  And by the way - this story is getting really tedious :) 

    TWarp30
    TWarp30

    Actually people this article is dishonest and I think it was done on PURPOSE. If you read the original interview. Martina N. DIDNT'T say those things about Serena. Eisenbud, Maria Sharapova's friend and agent did. But the writer of this article tried to make us believe Martina N. said those things. 

    dre
    dre

    Martina needs to sit down and shut up. Maria is far from classy.  When you know someone apoligize to you ahead of time, you dont come back and be messy.  She just wanted to stay relevant in tennis because she was going down hill.  Maria is just a wannabe.  She is not real at all.  People feed her head up all the time and she take it and run miles with it.  I will take Serena any day over messy Maria.  More player like Serena of Maria anyway.  


    Maria may dress up, beat that face, but under all of that is NOTHING!!!!!!  

    SHE ALSO NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE BIT OF NAILS.  People who bite their nails have anxiety and compulsive problems. 

    NoComment
    NoComment

    To put things into perspective: A journalist lumped together quotes from a conversation he allegedly overheard between Serena and Venus and assumed they were directed at Sharapova. Serena apologized to Sharapova in person for the misunderstanding. Sharapova accepted then went to the press to make direct remarks about Serena's love life. This is what passes for "real" and "classy" these days? My, how times have changed.


    Where I come from, "real" would be telling Serena how she felt when Serena approached her and classy would be taking the high road when questioned by the press.

    Wrong is wrong no matter who you like better. At your age, you should know this, Martina.


    Navratilova is also wrong about Sharapova's sponsorship appeal. Sharapova's alleged good looks are what attracts sponsors to her. By contrast, Clijsters was one of the nicest, classiest ladies out there, but didn't quite get the love from the sponsors as her leggy Russian counterpart.


    Sharapova may be winning over Serena haters, but Serena is winning where it counts: on court. Ultimately, the headlines will fade away but the records will still stand.




    makouria
    makouria

    S o much hate here for serena, the tea party patrol is out.  They are wishing and hoping that Sharapova will get the balls to beat Serena ( 15-2) they even got the nerve to call it a rivalry.  Lighten up and stop the hate folks.

    81george
    81george

    Like what Serena said about the rape victim or Maria's life was so f***ing classy.

    jumptoit
    jumptoit

    what else is new...Martina has been a Williams hater for years and was bitter when Venus won her 4th Wimbledon title.Serena is about to overtake her and she has to support pova since she found her in some Siberian ghetto all those years ago...Serena is very open and you can see her emotions on court whereas pova is very cold and boring.

    glitzyneon
    glitzyneon

    i agree to martina, Maria is a real girl. she is no plastic.

    nudopropietario
    nudopropietario

    Martina had to say that Serena is so vulgar and ordinary woman. 

    VanessaBrown
    VanessaBrown

    LOL at Martina calling Maria classy, Maria is far from classy! Her comments about Patrick and his kids were uncalled for especially when we know that Serena had already apologised to her about any misunderstandings about what the stupid Rolling Stones reporter had assumed! 

    ClareLeach
    ClareLeach

    Martina Navratilova needs to get a life. she has way too much to say for a retired sportswoman that has nothing to do at all about performances on the tennis court.


    Yes, Maria gives you everything. Maria could not even remember the defeat to Serena at AO semi in 2005 where she had 3 matchpoints. As if!


    pyro21
    pyro21

    Yeah, Maria gives you everything about other people's business. Very classy. 

    Asicran_i
    Asicran_i

    I really really disagree with what Martina said about Sharapova...

    saveserve325
    saveserve325

    @zoezoe Because they are racist and/or have ulterior motives. Sharapova is about as "real" as a 3 dollar bill. She is a schemer who put big advertising dollars for her candy company into the Tennis Channel where Navratilova is employed. Who is " real?" 



    Certainly not Schemerpova or pawn Marty Nav. Nav knows full well why Serena has not been more forthcoming. Bigots had tried to twist her words and bizarrely disrespectful journalists included. 


    On the other hand, Navratilova talked On Camera about the alleged "hot sex" she was having with a boy who used to be in Serena's camp. Serena was innocent with that boy, but Skankapova jumped him and called herself "rubbing it in."


    Serena has helped with First Lady Michelle Obama's fitness initiative for children. In contrast, Sharapova wants to shove empty calories into them and rot their teeth--for Profit! Sharapova real? Don't make people nauseous.


    Sharapova used the excuse of a many years' old "shoulder injury" for why Serena beat her(again) at Brisbane mere weeks ago. She's disgusting.

    saveserve325
    saveserve325

    @TWarp30 Thank you for telling us that,TWarp30. I hope you are right and Marty Nav has not gone over to the dark side.  Mary Carillo was in Sharapova's back pocket.I'd hoped Marty Nav could keep some integrity.

    hayhurstdave
    hayhurstdave

    @TWarp30IT'S THAT UGLY AND FAT BYTCH COURTNEY NGUYEN, a brain washed vietnamese american paid to provide veiled attacks on Serena, I hate the bytch ;((((

    pyro21
    pyro21

    @dre Anyone who constantly takes jabs at other players(not just Serena) and screams every time she hits the ball is not classy. I'm not sitting here saying that everything Serena does is right, or classy, but at least her agent Jill isn't setting up interviews where she justifies all of Serena's bad behavior. 

    spystud
    spystud

    @NoComment  This is what Martina said: 


    "What she said about Serena, I'm sure she wishes she hadn't said it, but she's one of the most honest players out there," Navratilova said of Sharapova. "She gives you more than anybody, which is such a contrast to Serena, who doesn't give you anything.


    "With Maria, I can almost see her thinking through things as she says it. She doesn't have a canned response and I like that from her. But you still have to have a filter, especially in this day and age. If you always say what you really think, you can get yourself in serious trouble."


    Navratilova knows.


    "[Sharapova] is such a force now that whatever she says, it's magnified, amplified, exaggerated, then they use it to try to bait other players," Navratilova said. "They used to do it with Chris and I until we got together and put an end to it."




    The "real" & "classy" quotes came from the person paid very, very well by Maria to do his job.  Courtney obviously should have separated the quotes better since apparently no one actually bothered to read the article she linked. 

    81george
    81george

    FYI there are no ghettos in Siberia, secondly you sound just like another black white hating racist. The fact that Serena is black doesn't make you any better.

    spystud
    spystud

    Eisenbud, Maria's agent, called her classy. Click the link, Martina really didn't say much.

    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    @saveserve325 @zoezoe  Oops. Surely meant Sharapova talked on camera about the alleged "hot sex" she was having with Grigor who used to be Serena's friend.

    AndrewNabor
    AndrewNabor

    What does her being Vietnamese American have anything to do with this Dave Hayhurst?

    spystud
    spystud

    @NoComment The comments about her appeal to her sponsors was also made by her agent, not Martina. 

    jumptoit
    jumptoit

    @81george there are slums in Eastern Europe worse than the USA ghettoes...go to Moldova,Russia,Ukraine and all the small eastern europe...no wonder a lot of the girls from that area are prostitutes because there are no opportunities.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @spystudscreamapova HAS NO CLASS; serena is fair game, as an adult, but, the children are off limits. next time MYOB, TROLL!!

    spystud
    spystud

    @cleopatra209  Mind my own ****ing business?!  Would you like me to post your last twenty or so comments?  All you do is follow me around & ruin threads, that's it.