Wednesday May 16th, 2012

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

• Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova launch Head's "Golden Ticket"-style contest in a new commercial.

• Marion Bartoli, tells Tennis Channel that once the Olympics are over, she's prepared to unleash a "big war" on the French tennis federation. The FFT has refused to give Bartoli an exemption to play the Olympics because she's refused to play Fed Cup.

"The Olympics is last thing the [FFT] has and they can play their cards into the Olympics, but after that it's going to be hard on them because then it's my turn to criticize them," she said. "For 15 years I have not been saying anything, but after the Olympics it’s going to be the start of a really big war, trust me."

• Kamakshi Tandon has a great summary of the increased cattiness amongst the top women of the WTA and she makes a great point: The last few years have been defined by feel good stories (look at the Slam winners) and nice girl platitudes. That's out the window now and I have to say, while it's not necessarily better or worse for the sport, it sure does keep things interesting.

It's been almost like the good old days (or bad old days) of bitter rivalries like Serena Williams-Justine Henin, Henin-Kim Clijsters, Serena-Sharapova, Ivanovic-Jankovic. The tension-filled triangle could meet again this week in Rome, with Azarenka and Radwanska drawn for yet another potential semifinal meeting, and Sharapova possibly waiting in the final for whoever wins. There are plenty of other contenders in the draw -- including last week's Madrid champ Williams -- but no one has traded groundstrokes, or words, like the top trio so far this season.

• Serena Williams joins Ryan Lochte and Hope Solo on the cover of Vogue.

• Frederik Nielsen takes issue with people dismissing Sam Groth's 263 km/h serve -- the fastest serve recorded -- just because it was at a Challenger event. Nielsen's point is well-taken, but he'll have to forgive a bit of skepticism when calibrated guns record Ana Ivanovic serving one at 288 km/h in Rome. Yeah, machines can't always be trusted, SkyNet taught us that.

• Thoughts on Novak Djokovic's new kit? It's very Serby.

Non-tennis: Here are 11 awesome mascots from the NBA. Bango the Buck and his sidekick might take the cake. 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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