Friday February 3rd, 2012

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

• It's nice to see Venus in those colors, smiling and laughing. Still no word from Captain Fernandez on the lineup for the weekend.

• Should the Australian Open men's final really have been so long? Kamakshi Tandon does some back of the envelope calculations and finds that the slow play by both men may have lengthened the match by a good 70 minutes. "With Djokovic playing 166 points on his serve, the Serb took 36 more minutes than he would have if sticking to the rules. Nadal, who played 203 points on his serve, took an extra 34 minutes. That adds up to 70 minutes, which would have put the match time at 4 hours, 43 minutes -- potentially shorter than the Wilander-Lendl U.S. Open final, the Nadal-Federer 2008 Wimbledon final (4 hours, 48 minutes) and even Djokovic's win over Andy Murray in the semifinals (4 hours, 50 minutes)."

• The glitz, the glamor, the ... brothels? Check out Anne Keothavong's recount of her five worst travel disasters. “I think the tournament had recommended the hotel," she says of one incident in Mexico. "It wasn’t exactly safe for young girls -- a place in the middle of nowhere in Mexico where you couldn’t lock the door. I know some female players have stayed in whorehouses and known that it was that kind of place, because they’ve been on a budget.”

• Novak Djokovic may rule the tennis world at the moment but it's hard not to notice that, on the whole, people are having a tough time embracing the guy. "Djokovic is not the elegant maestro," Steve Tignor writes. "Nor does he exude the childlike passion for the sport that has endeared Nadal to so many. Not every champion is going to be beloved, but tennis fans should be getting used to the idea that this one is here to stay, and that the Federer-Nadal duopoly no longer rules." Time to get over it, Federer and Nadal fans, the third wheel is now a unicycle.

• Andy Roddick believes he'll be ready for action in San Jose, but he hasn't hit a ball since suffering a partial tear of his hamstring in Australia.

• That's one way to keep warm, Laura Robson.

• Non-tennis: Per this great writeup by Kate Fagan, it sounds like Madonna's pre-Super Bowl press conference was...something. "Madonna is asked if New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez really does possess a photo of himself as a half-man, half-horse. "If he does, I haven't seen it, but I'm pretty sure he has a very large photograph of me," she answers. Shockingly, no one seems to think this is an awkward moment." See or read something that you enjoyed and want to share? Feel free to email or tweet us links to pieces from around the internet that may have slipped past our radar.

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