Daily Bagel: Hewitt thinks Nishikori will be a Grand Slam contender one day

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

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

• Video: Thirteen minutes of Andy Murray’s best shots, both on and off the court.

• Lleyton Hewitt pegs Kei Nishikori as a future Grand Slam contender.

• Serena Williams was following the U.S. Fed Cup team’s progress in Cleveland last weekend, sending captain Mary Joe Fernandez text messages during matches.

• Maria Sharapova shared her photo diary from Sochi with Vogue.

• Ranking the coolest tennis players of all time.

• Spanish figure skater Javier Fernandez, who is a favorite to win a medal, says he gets inspiration from Rafael Nadal.

“How hard that man fights, how he is personally… Very few people can get to be like he is,” Fernandez told dpa two days ahead of the singles event he is set to compete in.

“Being as strong as he is mentally, controlling everything, your head, your hold on things, the physical thing,” Fernandez said of the tennis world number one.

• Grantland’s Paul Wachter examines the brutal world of Futures tournaments, the lowest rung of the ATP ladder.

Of all the players I met, [Jean-Yves] Aubone was perhaps the most introspective about life on professional tennis’s bottom rung. He had a stellar collegiate career at Florida and also won two Futures tournaments while a student. But when he graduated in 2010 he was burned out and took a job at a small financial firm before joining Morgan Stanley in Miami. Then he felt the itch to play again, to make a committed run in the pros.

Aubone fully recognizes the financial absurdity of this choice. “When I left Morgan Stanley, I was making a lot of money,” he says. “And then last week, Vahid and I won the doubles in Plantation and I got $170.”

“Look, no one here is doing this for the money,” he says. Still, he recognizes that he can’t live like this indefinitely. “I’m 26,” he says. “That’s not old if you’re a top player. The average age of players in the top 100 is 28, and many are playing into their thirties. But if you’re not up in the rankings, if you’re not making a living, at some point it doesn’t make sense to keep fighting in the Futures. For me, this probably is a make-or-break year.”

• Stanislas Wawrinka has signed with Subaru in Switzerland (link in French).

• Ouch. Jamie Hampton has been under the knife twice over the last few weeks:

• Introducing Margin of Error, a new tennis podcast that’s worth subscribing to from the folks at Tennis Abstract and The Changeover blogs.

• Non-tennis: Russian media reports that a Deadspin editor was stripped of his Olympic accreditation. Yeah, he’s not even in Sochi.

  • Published On Feb 11, 2014

    Stupid. It sounds like Hewitt was asked specifically who among Asian players is most likely to win a slam - and he simply picked the highest ranked dude (direct quote: "in terms of the Asian guys ... "). So no, he doesn't actually think Kei has a chance to win a major but among Asian player, Kei has the best chance. Way to twist a quote around.

    Kei has next to zero chance to win a major as long as Rafa, Nole, Murray, and Fed are in the draw ... more-so the first three guys. He's essentially Murray Lite - great defense, great speed, but unlike Murray, very little power. Don't let the Rafa match at the AO fool you. There's a reason why he's made ONE quarterfinal appearance in a major. As opposed to Stan Wawrinka - who had horrible H2H against the top players before breaking through recently - Kei has no weapons. His forehand is average. His backhand is solid. His net play is non-existent. But most importantly against the elite players, his serve is a liability. Among the top 20 or so players, he and Ferrer have the worst serves.

    So does anyone think Kei can grind it out in seven consecutive matches at a major? He's vulnerable against the dangerous floaters (who can overpower him) and pretty much hopeless against the top-tier guys, who can grind him down. He's just the wrong player in the wrong era.