Daily Bagel: The boom and bust saga of Melanie Oudin
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• As the French Open kicks off, here are some of the funnier moments from last year.
• Great piece here from Howard Bryant on Melanie Oudin.
Oudin is the game's boom, simultaneously elevated and haunted by her sudden 2009 quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open as a 17-year-old, where she beat Maria Sharapova, and its bust, the spiral from being ranked 31st in the world to, yes, 370th. She indirectly represents the victims of the game's wake, the ones built up and toasted when they are producing, only to be forgotten and fungible when the score or their abilities or their bodies or the fates betray them. She was the anointed and did not live up to the moment, and the conversation quickly moved on to "the next big thing," whether it is Jamie Hampton, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys or Christina McHale. The complex moved on, and people focused their attention elsewhere, but Oudin was still there, a person living inside the narrative, living inside her head while still not even old enough to drink legally.
• Some interesting quotes here from Novak Djokovic as he reflects on his role as an ambassador for Serbia.
"I do not want to position myself in any way as somebody who is untouchable," he said. "I came from these people, I lived through every single moment of the wars with those people, and I know how they feel and how they are, especially the people who didn't have an opportunity to be successful in what they do."
• Nice look at Ivan Lendl, the misunderstood.
Many of his contemporaries would agree with Pat Cash’s assessment that he was “like a great big bully at school”. Out on the court he would be ruthless and impassive, “wanting to kick people’s butts 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 and rub their faces in it”, as Mats Wilander has recalled. Then, once they had got back to the dining room, he would be running around, nattering away in Czech and unleashing another practical joke. “Didn’t you rub people up the wrong way?” I asked him. “Yeah,” he replies, “but they got over it eventually.”
• Christopher Clarey sits down with Marion Bartoli, who is always good for a quote or five.
• John Isner does an interview for WWE.
• A great list of the best uses of tennis in movies.
• Non-tennis: How London won the Olympic Games. 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.