Friday December 16th, 2011

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

• The USTA wild-card playoff tournament starts today in Florida, with the winners earning a spot in the Australian Open main draw next month. Tennis Grandstand takes a look at the players who are in the mix, many of whom, like Jack Sock, Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend, represent the future of American tennis.

• A bit of a battle is brewing over the expansion of Sportime Randall's Island, a tennis facility in New York that is one of the few places left providing court time for recreational and professional tennis players.

• Steve Tignor is counting down his list of the top matches of the year. The list has been tough to argue with so far. Here he takes a look at the brutal U.S. Open final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

• ESPN is counting down its 100 memories for 2011. It's almost halfway there.

• In case you missed it in May, be sure to read S.L. Price's lengthy profile on Novak Djokovic for Sports Illustrated. • Non-tennis: A pitch-perfect post-script to the incredible, insatiable undeniable life of Christopher Hitchens, who died on Thursday, by his good friend Christopher Buckley.

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