Daily Bagel: ITF eyes new Olympic qualification system for 2016

Thursday April 26th, 2012

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

• Svetlana Kuznetsova said she was trying her best not to focus on the score in her Fed Cup rubber against Ana Ivanovic. She succeeded. Click to the 4:43 mark in the above video, where Kuznetsova has no idea she's won match point and the match is over. Don't ever change, Sveta.

• Bad news for the Serena Williams and Maria Sharapovas of the world: The ITF is changing its Olympic rules for the 2016 games, doubling the number of ties a player must make themselves available for in order to secure eligibility.

Now it’s plain that the reason the ITF is doing this is because they want more players, especially top players, to play Fed Cup (and Davis Cup, since this applies to both), in future. And that’s hardly a surprise as they are the ITF’s flagship events. The WTA reportedly remains committed to the Fed Cup but believes the format of the competition needs to change in order to keep it relevant, while the long-term health of the players is also a concern.

Matt Cronin laments the fact that the ATP tournament in San Jose is leaving, and he suspects the players who have competed there will miss it as well.

When John McEnroe beat Jimmy Connors for the 1982 title at the Cow Palace, it meant a hell of a lot to him and I’m sure he recalls it.  When Ivan Lendl got over McEnroe the next year, you can bet it mattered. When Michael Chang won his first title there in ‘88, or Brad Gilbert won in front of his home fans in ‘89, those are the moments that stick with player. Any time that the “Fab 4” of Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang played for blood in the Bay Area, those matches etched into wall space of their rivalries.

• The ATP site breaks down the changes in Rafael Nadal's serve and forehand in his win against Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo.

• Chris Evert joined the latest SI.com Tennis Podcast with Jon Wertheim. It's worth a listen. • Non-tennis: If you hire Batman for your kid's birthday, don't get the Christopher Nolan one.

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