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.