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Daily Bagel: What does Becker really bring to Djokovic’s coaching team?

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

• Video: A collection of ATP Hot Shots from the Sony Open.

• Not an April Fools’ joke: Andy Murray’s new hotel opened Tuesday.

• Peter Bodo weighs in on the 187-pound gorilla in the room: Boris Becker.

The more recent emergence of the “celebrity coach” – the group that includes, or included, [Ivan] Lendl (with Andy Murray), Stefan Edberg (with Roger Federer), and Boris Becker (with [Novak] Djokovic) – further complicates things, as Djokovic’s situation attests. Becker, one of the great stars of the 1980s and 90s, is the 800-pound gorilla in the room whenever the chatter in a Djokovic press conference turns to coaching.

The 187-pound German in the conversation missed the entire March Masters swing in the U.S. because of surgery to replace both hips, during which [Marian] Vajda again helped Djokovic turn his game around. But Becker casts a long shadow, as you might expect from a player with such an outsized personality. Officially, Becker is “co-coach,” as Djokovic continues to insist, but wise heads wonder what he really brings to the table – other than a massive jolt of publicity, not all of it good, that the Serb probably doesn’t need.

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  • Published On Apr 01, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: What can we learn about WTA stars from their hula hooping?

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

    • Video: What do we learn about the WTA stars in this hula-hooping exhibition? Serena Williams knows how to get down, Li Na has clearly won hula-hooping contests before and Simona Halep should probably stick to tennis.

    • It will be “a lot of months” until Juan Martin del Potro returns from his recent wrist surgery.

    “The toughest thing was to decide to have the surgery, but it was the best decision,” said del Potro, who was sidelined for the majority of 2010 after surgery on his right wrist, also performed by Dr. Berger at the Mayo Clinic. “The doctor had the chance to take a better look at the injury and he saw the ligaments were broken, so it was the best thing to do.

    “It will take me a lot of months to recover,” continued del Potro, who was named ATP Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 after recovering from the right wrist surgery. “In 15 days I have to be checked by the doctor again to see how everything is going and only then will we have a better idea of how long it will take to be back. All the support I have makes me want to come back as soon as possible.

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  • Published On Mar 28, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: ESPN made a poor decision by not airing Federer-Nishikori live

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

    • Video: Kei Nishikori almost KO’d Roger Federer with an overhead smash.

    • Steve Tignor on why ESPN’s decision to tape-delay Wednesday night’s match between Federer and Nishikori was short-sighted.

    Yet ESPN, of all places, should know that if you don’t show it, and you don’t hype it, no one will come. This year, for the first time, the network has the rights to the finals in Miami. Next year, for the first time, it will have the rights to the finals of the U.S. Open. Presumably, ESPN wants people to watch those matches, or at least have an idea of what they might be seeing. You wouldn’t have known it last night. The network had the best free promotional material that anyone could have for tennis – a dramatic upset of Roger Federer, being played in prime time on the East Coast – yet it couldn’t find a place for the match on TV at all.

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  • Published On Mar 27, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Roger Federer insists he practiced the hardest this offseason

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

    • Video: Fabio Fognini: The Silent Movie. A must-watch.

    • Speaking to The Daily Mail, Roger Federer says he worked harder than anyone in the top eight during the off-season.

    “December was crucial. I don’t want to say this in a cocky way but I believe I worked the hardest from the top eight in the off-season. Many guys went off to play exhibitions, or were in the Davis Cup. I had time, I put my head down and worked and I did it without any setbacks.

    “I played three straight weeks without any problems, ending at the O2 Arena. I thought if I could handle that and then all the December work and emerge in good shape with no problems that would be a great platform.”

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  • Published On Mar 26, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Can Andy Murray keep calm and carry on?

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

    • Video: Andy Murray is the butt of a few jokes for charity.

    • Greg Rusedski says Murray’s Wimbledon defense has been crippled by the split with Ivan Lendl. How about everyone take a deep breath and calm down a little bit?

    When coaches and players break up, it is usually for one of three reasons. The first is finance – which should not be a problem in this case. The second is because the player has outgrown the relationship. Again, that does not apply here.

    The third reason is because the two parties differ on what the player can achieve and how he can get there. Maybe Ivan felt he had contributed everything he had to their partnership.

    After Andy underwent back surgery in September and missed a couple of months, there was no real prospect of him climbing to No 1 in the world in the near future. I am just surprised that they didn’t want to go back to Wimbledon in the summer and try to defend that title together.

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  • Published On Mar 24, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Bernard Tomic blasted by Australian media for 28-minute loss

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

    • Video: Marcos Baghdatis redefines “the lucky break”.

    • They don’t pull punches down in Australia: Bernard Tomic gets blasted by Anthony Sharwood of NewsCorp Australia for losing the shortest match in the ATP’s recorded history. Be sure to read the photo captions.

    As his summer efforts on the Gold Coast proved, he is one of our best and most consistent performers on the gruelling lap dancing circuit.

    He is also, we now know, a fine sprinter. This talented all-rounder revealed Usain Bolt-like speed today in racing through a tennis match that lasted a mere 28 minutes.

    Tomic was returning from a month off with injury so there will be excuses. Just like there were last time and the time before that and (copy, paste) the time before that and (copy, paste) the time before that.

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  • Published On Mar 21, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Nieminen beats Tomic in 28 minutes, the shortest ATP match ever

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

    • Video: Bernard Tomic‘s final shot in his 6-0, 6-1 loss to Jarkko Nieminen. The match clocked in at 28 minutes and 20 seconds, officially the shortest ATP match ever.

    • Doug Robson discusses the pressure Stanislas Wawrinka is under since his quick rise after the Australian Open.

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  • Published On Mar 20, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Serena’s football dreams

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

    • Video: Catching up with Bob and Mike Bryan, who offer a chest-bump tutorial.

    • Serena Williams says she would have been a linebacker or a quarterback if she were a football player.

    On whether she would have played football if she were a guy…
    “For sure. I’d be a linebacker, or a quarterback – I’d be a great quarterback. Linebackers are so cool – they save games and win Super Bowls! Obviously the quarterback does too, but a linebacker is such an important position. I loved learning about Lawrence Taylor – I thought he was super super cool.”

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  • Published On Mar 19, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: John McEnroe hails Ivan Lendl’s ‘awesome’ meltdown

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

    • Photo: Roger Federer visited Disney World on Monday. Naturally, he tweeted about it.

    • In case you missed this from last week: Ivan Lendl argued for 10 minutes about a line call during a PowerShares match against John McEnroe in Charlotte, N.C. McEnroe, who went on to win, enjoyed his opponent’s tantrum, as the PowerShares website detailed:

    As Lendl sat on the back of the court arguing with the linesperson, McEnroe paraded around on and off the court, posing for selfie photographs with fans seated in the front row and riling up the crowd.

    In his post-match on-court interview with Jimmy Arias from the Tennis Channel, McEnroe was asked how the shoe felt on the other foot, the difficulty of playing against an opponent who complains so long over a line call. “I loved it,” McEnroe shouted with happy enthusiasm in response. “Now I know what it is like. It was outstanding. I got to have some fun, talk to some people. Take some pictures. It was awesome. He melted down and I pulled it out.”

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  • Published On Mar 18, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Pete Sampras’ $6M home

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

    • Video: Best shots from the men’s side of the BNP Paribas Open.

    • Pete Sampras bought a $6 million home in Bel Air, complete with a tennis court, infinity pool and celebrity lineage, as Forbes reports.

    Pete and [wife] Bridgette’s new home has a long and storied show business history, having been owned by Merv Griffin before being purchased by [actor Albert] Brooks for $3,650,000 in 1992. Albert Brooks sold the home in 2012 for $6,275,000, after listing it for nearly $7 million. The new owners didn’t hold on to it for very long, and sold it to the Sampras family at a loss.

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  • Published On Mar 17, 2014


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