Wednesday August 29th, 2012

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

• Video: Fun video for the USTA's "Return to Love" iniatitive featuring Ben Stiller.

• There are 128 singles players that lose in the first round of a Slam. It's not easy, writes Greg Bishop for The New York Times.

The defeated do not leave the grounds at Flushing Meadows empty-handed. Each first-round loser in the singles main draws earns $23,000 (and a Citizen wristwatch), or $4,000 more than in 2011. Most players who lost Tuesday also planned to play doubles, in which men’s or women’s teams will make at least $11,000 for the tournament and each mixed doubles team will make $5,000. For some, those earnings will not cover the cost of travel, coaching and other expenses. Others said that under the right circumstances, they could break even. None of them had planned to lose that early, anyway.

• Jason Gay ponders the die-hards who stay to endure late-night tennis at the Open.

Nearly every hard-core tennis fan in the city has a story about the time they hung into the wee hours watch Somebody You've Heard Of defeat Somebody You've Never Heard Of, and found themselves marooned on a train platform, woozy from cocktails and hot pretzels, and not getting home until an hour better left to insomniacs and cats. These sagas get relayed the next day as badges of durability, but there's no shame in acknowledging that late-night tennis is not everybody's taste.

• Nice read here on the statistical fallacies in tennis. For a sport that involves a whole lot of weird math, we sure can't count very well.

The ATP's website has faulty statistics for the 2003 tournament in Madrid, one of the biggest events on the calendar outside of the Grand Slams. Roger Federer, for instance, won 140% of his service points against Mardy Fish, according to the site. (It's safe to assume he gave his 110% in the match.)

• There's the Big 3 and there's everyone else. And the "everyone else" knows it, writes Alix Ramsey.

[J]ust ask Berdych about what separates him from the top boys and what he needs to win his first grand slam trophy and the gloom descends. “The majors are not for everyone,” he said. "This time it’s just probably for three guys. It’s how it is. We are probably in the best era of our sport. Yeah, that’s how it is."

• Jon Wertheim has a long sit down with Victoria Azarenka. They talk about everything. But not grunting. Don't you dare have the gall to ask her about grunting.

• Nice contrast here between the long and winding roads of Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic by Ben Rothenberg for The New York Times.

• More on Azarenka here from The Tennis Space. She cruised through her first round match and yet no one requested her for press.

• Non-tennis: 23 Reasons Space Jam Is the Best Sports Movie Ever. I'm more of a Mighty Ducks kind of gal, but these were 23 very good reasons. 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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