Friday February 27th, 2015

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

• The finals in the Middle East are set. It will be the first meeting this season between No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Roger Federer in the final of the Dubai Championships. Over at the Qatar Open, Victoria Azarenka looks to win her first title since 2013 as she takes on No. 15 Lucie Safarova

• The top two men's seeds in Acapulco are into the semifinals. Kei Nishikori will play Kevin Anderson and David Ferrer will play Ryan Harrison.


• ​Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal is into the quarterfinals of the Argentina Open and will play Federico Delbonis. Maria Sharapova is into the semifinals of the Mexican Open and will play Caroline Garcia. 

• A recap of Thursday's umpiring debacle in the Qatar Open quarterfinal between Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki. 


• A lengthy piece by Tom Perrotta for The Wall Street Journal on Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic is chasing something larger. He knows he can win. But he also knows he has yet to earn universal respect.

“For me it’s more important for [people] to remember me as a human being, as somebody that has carried himself in the right way in every aspect of his tennis career,” he says. “There’s more to it than just winning a trophy.”

• What did Roger Federer do after losing to Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open? He celebrated with champagne

• Steve Tignor on the prodigious rise of Borna Coric, who beat Andy Murray this week at the Dubai Championships. Is he for real?

• Check out Azarenka's post-match interview (and reaction) after her 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Venus Williams in Doha. 


• Andy Murray tells that he's over-worrying about what people think of him. He also talks about Kim Sears' famous shirt. He's also making some headway in hiring a second coach

• What is going on with Grigor Dimitrov

• Angelique Keber announced that she will part ways with her longtime coach Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh on her Facebook page on Friday.


• Ernests Gulbis is winless in 2015, but all it takes is one good result

“This is not a problem. I’m making everybody very calm, distracted by my bad results and then I’m going to shoot. One good result and I’m coming back. This is a distraction, it’s the calm before the storm,”

• Ben Rothenberg for Slate on tennis' match-fixing problem in the lower ranks. Here's Ryan Harrison on the incident involving Denys Molchanov at the Dallas Challenger a few weeks ago:

“I’ve heard Molchanov in particular, in the past, say that he didn’t necessarily frown upon it,” said Harrison. “He never at any point in time said that he was going to do it, but he would be one of the guys in the conversation saying—not that he would do it, or he supported it—but almost trying to justify it because it’s tough financially.”

 • Love Azarenka's reaction to this falling-down winner on Friday en route to a win over Venus:

• And how about this return winner from Harrison en route to a win over Ivo Karlovic on Thursday in Acapulco? Harrison is into his first ATP semifinal since July 2013.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.