Daily Bagel: Rafa switches rackets
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are in Doha, Qatar, this week, and what better way to kick off their 2012 campaigns than with an intimate candlelight dinn... I mean, tennis. Is this how Federer proposed to his wife, Mirka?
• Speaking of Nadal, not only has he been unable to practice as much as he'd like because of a shoulder injury, but he's also in the process of adjusting to a heavier-weighted racket, which gives him more power but less control. The switch could pay dividends down the road, but given how much his game is in flux, I'm not loving his chances in Melbourne at the moment. "You can't think that everything will be perfect from the beginning, but you make the change thinking it'll be better in the future," Nadal said, according to Reuters. "There's no magic, but the new racket can help a little bit to improve my game. It's a risk I'm taking at the beginning of the season."
• Andy Murray on his hiring of Ivan Lendl: "He has been through a lot of the same things that I have been through, so I am sure he can help me mentally with certain things." Ivan Lendl on Andy Murray: "To me, this is like Groundhog Day. I have been in this movie. I was that player once, who needed something to help make it work. It was the same as I was before I hired [Tony Roche]. What happened then changed my career around."
• A nice look at Jarmila Gajdosova's tough 2011. "I can say there were times I wished I didn’t have to go on the court in front of people so I don’t have to be talked about again, and criticized, and being told what I did wrong or what I didn’t do,” she told The New York Times.
• Dave Taylor has had tremendous success as a women's tennis coach. Here he breaks down the differences between the men's and women's game. As for his success, he attributes it to providing structure: "You give them very few options and make them live between narrow lines." That requires a lot of trust.
• A battle is brewing over the future of Hopman Cup, as the ITF, Tennis Australia and the West Australian government are all vying to take control of the event. • Non-tennis: Here's a look at some of the least important moments of 2011. Spoiler alert: The Kardashians come up. A lot.