Monday September 10th, 2012

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

• Video: Hey, remember that Rafa guy? Don't worry. He's still around. Wandering the streets of Barcelona learning how to play poker.

• Always on the money: Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price on Serena Williams' rocky relationship with New York and her hard-fought win over Victoria Azarenka in the U.S. Open final:

Before this U.S. Open began, she spoke of how she was scared of the tournament, the place itself, how she'd rather play Wimbledon or Australia. But that wasn't right, exactly: If Serena Williams is being honest, it's a certain chemistry, the incendiary blending of New York and herself, that she fears. The two goad each other like gasoline and fire, and it's only when they meet that the word "match" takes on double meaning.

• Take a few minutes to listen to Andre Agassi's induction speech for the U.S. Open Court of Champions. The man has an incredible gift at painting sound with his words. On the sound of the U.S. Open: "It's like a jet engine and a giant heartbeat."

More on the Taylor Townsend story from Doug Robson at USA Today. Robson reports that Townsend was devastated when she thought the USTA tried to bench her until her fitness improved.

The USTA's defense, as reported by's Matt Cronin:

Australian Open junior champion Taylor Townsend of the United States didn't have medical clearance to play, which is why the USTA declined at first to send her to the U.S. Open, has learned. Townsend was recently diagnosed with low iron, and the USTA did not feel it was safe for her to play until her doctors gave her the go-ahead.

• Balanced take here by Sandra Harwitt on the Townsend situation. We don't know what went on behind the scenes but we should all agree that when it comes to a teenager's weight and fitness, everyone needs to think twice.

• Peter Bodo has a theoretically feasible solution to the USTA's roofing problem, which centers on the ground under Ashe Stadium being unable to bear the load of a roof: Tear down the upper bowl of Ashe Stadium and rebuild it with lighter materials, and the weight-saving measures could allow for a roof.

• Good write-up here from Tennis Grandstand's David Kane on Samantha Crawford, who won the U.S. Open girls' title over the weekend. Combined with the doubles triumph of Townsend and Gaby Andrews, the American girls swept the juniors.

• So this negotiation process should be fun: As Christopher Clarey of The New York Times reports, the ATP players want what would amount to a 250 percent increase in prize money at the Slams.

• Drop Shot Dispatch highlights the continuing conflicts of interest in tennis.

The New York Times catches up with the now retired Mario Ancic, who has traded his racket bag for a book bag at Columbia Law School. Future head of the ATP?

• Tomas Berdych doesn't care if you like him or not.

• Non-tennis: Coldplay performs The Scientist at the London Paralympic Games closing ceremony as a poignant montage of the event rolls. 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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