Monday May 7th, 2012

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

• Philipp Kohlschreiber put his sweet one-handed backhand to good use in winning the BMW Open in Munich. The video posted above has highlights from the German's victory against Marin Cilic in Sunday's final.

• Congrats to Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi, who have taken over the No. 1 doubles ranking from Bob and Mike Bryan. The Bryan brothers held the spot for 90 straight weeks.

• A fan profile of Benoit Paire, a 22-year-old Frenchman who is ranked No. 67. Having watched quite a few of his matches on the outer courts, I can attest to the roller-coaster nature of the Paire Experience: You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll face-palm. Here's Rishe Groner at Tennis Grandstand:

It’s not Benoit’s athletics that give him his fans, it’s his fabulous repertoire of on-court theatrics that does. Catch him drinking cans of sugary Coca-Cola during changeovers in his matches, or pointing angrily at the heavens as he mutters away in French to all and sundry. Watch him stalk around in little circles between points and try to strategize as he alternates between flubbed misses and shots of absolute brilliance. Meet the French hurricane that is Benoit Paire, and you’ll never look away from the side courts again.

• Let the backlash to the backlash against blue clay begin, via Peter Bodo:

We're in the midst of another "this is tennis" moment thanks to Ion Tiriac and the blue clay in Madrid, and the players are once again proving that they love the idea of change a lot more than the reality of it. This is hardly surprising, given that the players originally were against many of most significant developments in the game, from larger-headed racquets to the tiebreaker.


Blue has been universally embraced as the color that provides the best contrast with an optic-yellow tennis ball. Of course, blue clay is supposed to create "buzz." That's not a dirty word in pro sports. And the last time I checked, the lifestyles of [Maria] Sharapova, [Rafael] Nadal, et al are intimately bound up with and financed by the experience of ticket buyers and television watchers."

• Matt Cronin on the state of Melanie Oudin, who is turning things around thanks to some coaching and training changes (the 20-year-old has earned a wild card to the French Open). Sometimes it just takes maturity:

But two other things also had to improve: her condtioning, which was said to be lacking, because there is no way to be a successful counterpuncher if you are tiring early in third sets. Second, and perhaps most importantly, she began to personally mature and get a grip on what was making her so nervous in matches. Admittedly, she was just not equipped to handle the so-called expectations, most of which, by the way, were her own. Now, 20, Oudin had to realize that no serious tennis analyst ever said that she was going to race up the charts to No. 1 based on two very good, but not great runs at majors. She had to get real, as well as tenacious once again.

• Boris Becker on grunting: "I hate it and I think it's a joke."

• Non-tennis: Hope you don't have a case of the Mondays. We are all that chihuahua. 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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