Daily Bagel: Andy Murray proposes to long-time girlfriend Kim Sears
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• After splitting with his long-time coach Dani Vallverdu earlier in the day on Wednesday, Murray also popped the question to his long-time girlfriend, Kim Sears.
• Casey Dellacqua's management team blasts Tennis Australia for awarding Nick Kyrgios the 2014 Newcombe Award, which is supposed to go to the Australian player who had the best season. They make a compelling argument:
"Not only did Casey win more grand slam matches than any other Australian, she had a 31-18 win-loss record for the year and reached a career-high ranking of No.26 after starting 2014 ranked No.130. Nick won 10 matches on tour and had a highest ranking of No.52.
"I find it difficult to understand how a player who has won three times the number of matches over the year, won more matches in grand slams in 2014 and also has a ranking half that of the winner is not recognised.
"I question whether the decision to award Nick the medal was based on the hype surrounding him and the exposure it would then generate."
• Tennis legend Dodo Cheney has died at the age of 98. Read her New York Times obituary here.
• Roger Federer's career in a nifty infograffic.
• The field for the first big tournament of the year, the Brisbane International, is insane. Good to see Juan Martin del Potro in the mix. The tournament (and the new season) starts on January 4th.
• It's no secret that the tennis' lower levels -- ATP Challengers, Futures, ITFs -- are impacted by match-fixing and in some cases, organized crime. One investigator says the only way to clean it up is with random audits.
• Thomas Buchass, a 22-year-old player from Argentina, wrote an open letter to the ITF begging for improvements on the ATP Futures circuit, better prize money. And he called out the ITF out for contradictory messages about betting:
It’s a little contradictory that the ITF sends the message that they wish to go against betting, and all those things which stains our sport, and it makes me sick, as someone who loves the game, to hear that such things exist, that matches are fixed, but afterwards, I see that the ITF has a gambling house as a sponsor.
That’s where things don’t match. They wish to go against those things which stain the game, but they have “official gambling houses”.
• Another fantastic "Tennis Players Chatting on Facebook" thread by The Grandstand. This time, the players react to Switzerland winning Davis Cup.
• What exactly does Sloane Stephens want?
• Stephens is scheduled to start her season at the ASB Classic in New Zealand.
• Interesting read from a British tennis coach on the LTA's Wimbledon wildcard scheme, which may be revised this year to reduce the incentive payments for players over 21 years old.