Daily Bagel: Rafael Nadal backs Andy Murray
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Watch Marcos Baghdatis talk about his love of Dumb and Dumber and how it felt to break four rackets at once at the Australian Open.
• Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have been denied a chance to play at the Olympics by the Indian tennis federation, which has refused to nominate them as India's second doubles team. Bhupathi and Bopanna are not taking this lying down. Here's their full joint statement blasting the AITA and the other team (which actually includes Bhupathi, with Leander Paes, former partners who split) that's been selected.
To not send one of the best tennis teams in the world to the Olympics -- and to, instead, choose to nominate one that has had four previous unsuccessful attempts -- fails to put the interests of the nation first. Moreover, choosing to send only one team when India was entitled to two denies two highly accomplished players of the privilege and opportunity to represent the country at the Olympics. This is a sad day for Indian tennis from all perspectives.
• When asked about Tommy Haas' view that Andy Murray exaggerates injuries, Rafael Nadal backed his good buddy:
I can’t say nothing wrong with Andy. He’s a great guy. In my opinion if we talk about what happened at the French Open against [Jarkko] Nieminen that’s why probably. In my opinion he never does this to bother the opponent. So, that’s the most important thing. It’s difficult to explain but I really believe in Andy. I think he’s a fair guy, a good competitor. I’m 100 percent sure that he was doing nothing to bother the opponent, to take advantage. The disadvantage was for him in the French Open against Nieminen when that happened in the beginning of the match. At the end, he came back.
• Grantland laments the lack of fashion at the French Open, especially from Serena Williams:
In last year's U.S. Open final, [Serena] dominated the summer hard-court season in Hulk-smash green. Her first-round loss to Virginie Razzano at Roland Garros was a sports-world shock, but she's ceded the style conversation to her older sister, who, this year, played in a white dress with Mondrian-y panels. It was the most inspired thing we would see on a woman, and it lasted only two rounds. Venus is the only star who understands that to play tennis in Paris wearing something less than interesting is at best an insult and at worst a crime.
• Nice to see that Feliciano Lopez will still get to go to the Olympics, even if it is as a doubles specialist. Despite being ranked No. 17, Lopez, arguably Spain's second best grass-court player behind Nadal, won't be competing in singles because four Spanish men are ranked ahead of him (no country can send more than four players to the singles event).
• Good work here by Tennis Grandstand, which takes a closer look at the proposed renovations at the U.S. Open. It's almost eerie to see renderings of Ashe with a roof.