The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Serena Williams was frustrated with her slow start against Ekaterina Makarova in her first match at the Dubai Championships. Williams went on to win 7-6 (8), 6-0.
• Andy Roddick is enjoying his return to competitive tennis, in the Powershares Series.
“There’s no way to replace playing in front of a crowd and kind of the feeling that gives you,” Roddick said. “And I have a lot of other interests right now, which are very fulfilling, but nothing will ever replace being able to play live sports. Yeah, I didn’t expect it to. But this is a chance for me to do it, I guess, more in a little bit of a part-time scale. I’m looking forward to it. It’s always fun to play with guys that have been so accomplished in the sport.”
• Should Sam Querrey have been a golfer? A few interesting Delray Beach items here from Scoop Malinowski.
• New ATP CEO Chris Kermode talks to The Tennis Space about life after the Big Four, match-fixing and court speeds.
• More love for the one-handed backhand, from Kamakshi Tandon. At this point it holds “endangered species” status in the modern game — protected and celebrated.
There are a combination of reasons why older players with one-handed backhands are thriving, according to Darren Cahill.
The first is simply physical. It is now well-accepted that the increasing physical demands of the game mean it takes longer for players to develop the power required to compete at the upper levels, leading to the tour being dominated more and more by older, stronger players. If anything, this effect has been magnified when it comes to the one-handed backhand. It takes more strength to hit away from the body with one hand instead of two, and the amount of spin players can now put on the ball creates bigger bounces that must frequently be hit above shoulder height, where the one-handed backhand is relatively weaker.
“I think the main thing is there’s a big strength factor with having the one-hander compared to the two-hander,” Cahill said. “The game has changed a little bit, becoming more physical, and obviously spin becoming a huge factor. It’s become more difficult at a young age to play with one hand.
“These guys are doing well with a one-handed backhand later in their careers, as they become stronger athletes. [And that] has made a big difference to the way they’ve been able to compete with a one-handed backhand.”
• The WTA’s “Arabian Nights” player party in Dubai.
• If you missed the Jimmy Connors “30 for 30″ documentary on ESPN, here’s a link on YouTube.
• Non-tennis: Behind Russia’s epic hockey fail.