Daily Bagel: Takes on Maria Sharapova
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Watch Maria Sharapova's champagne shower after winning her first French Open title on Saturday and completing her career Grand Slam. We'll circle back here Tuesday for some ink on the men's final.
• Steve Tignor on Sharapova's comeback that culminated in a major title in Paris.
Sharapova is a rich and famous champion, and a great one, but she’s not warm or easily loved—for all of her endorsements, she couldn’t avoid a smattering of sour boos when she was announced today in Chatrier. She’s a pro in an individual sport, and she has the ruthlessness that comes with the job. She doesn’t do tears or hugs at the net, or buddies in the locker room. At the same time, though, Sharapova could have coasted after her first $20 million and her first couple of majors. Instead she hired a new coach and went out on the clay-court road this spring with just him, a trainer, and a hitting partner. Because of that, her victory today feels like a passionate one. It's one that came, more than anything else, from a love for competing, for working, for the sport.
• WTA Backspin's take on the women's final.
It says something about her that it was Sharapova who has become the first player to win a slam following shoulder surgery, for it speaks well to the drive that has always lurked beneath her glossy, fashionable exterior. In effect, it's always been her secret weapon. Finally, after a long, painful and, ultimately, affirming four years, it is once again. Many players who'd climbed as high as she once did would have given up and accepted the "dying out" nature of the supernova-like brilliance she once experienced. But not Sharapova. She dug in and worked harder than ever, and today she receives the spoils of her efforts.
• Speaking of Maria, check out her perfectly choreographed celebrations.
• These two women are a sight for sore eyes for any traveling tennis writer: A unique view of the players from the stenographers who provide interview transcripts.
• Enough of this clay business. On to the grass!
• Speaking of which, Grantland has some advice for Andy Murray: Swear more.
So, poster-wise: Can't you see Murray as a skittery, post-punk bad guy, staring down linesmen, yelling at the crowd, and taunting his opponent? Granted, in the world as it actually exists it's at least a little fatuous to talk about "villains" in sports. People are complex, even guys who hit bouncy yellow balls all day. But say Murray played with an angrier edge, turned more of his dissatisfaction outward. Couldn't that help keep him out of the vortex of self-consciousness? Give him a sort of dark inspiration? Make him a little looser, at least?
• The Daily Mail quotes Andy Roddick as saying 2012 might "possibly" be his last Wimbledon. Take that for what you will.
• Non-tennis: 10 books to read now that Mad Men is over. 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.