Daily Bagel: Federer takes on role as back-room power broker
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Peter Gabriel (legend!) was at the O2 Arena to take in Novak Djokovic's win over Andy Murray and the ATP caught up with him. Fun to hear celebrities talk tennis.
• Doug Robson reports for USA Today on Roger Federer's very hands-on role on the player council, particularly his involvement in prize money issues. While Federer's been flying around the world taking hours and hours of meetings, he says Rafael Nadal's been silent on player issues while he's been off the tour rehabilitating his knee.
Federer has been called out by his peers, including his arch-rival Rafael Nadal, for perhaps hewing too closely to his cautious Swiss roots and not pushing hard enough for change. But Federer was not shy in pointing out that in his extended absence due to knee problems, 26-year-old Nadal has been largely MIA from the players' push for a larger share of revenues from the majors.
"Players do look up to Rafa, so it would be nice to see him maybe a bit more engaged," Federer said.
• If you missed Jon Wertheim's smackdown on the ATP's decision to decline Larry Ellison's offer of an $800,000 prize money increase at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, you missed a good one. Jon pulls no punches. Yet another example of tennis' internal conflicts of interest undermining the growth and health of the sport. Turning down prize money when you've spent the year screaming about prize money? You have got to be kidding me.
If Ellison boosted the Indian Wells prize money, how would that make other events -- most obviously the IMG-owned Miami event the following week -- look? And ... well, actually, there are no other logical reasons why an organization tasked with growing and improving the sport would turn down a volunteer increase in money. Yet, that's what happened. With IMG's representative allegedly leading the charge, the three tournament representatives on the board rejected the prize money increase. The ATP's CEO, Brad Drewett, invertebrately declined to take action. And the measure died.
• Speaking of the IMG-owned Sony Ericsson Open, Miami-Dade voters approved $50 million in renovations for Crandon Park, the facility that hosts the tournament every year. That's great news for the tournament and for Crandon Park, an awkward concrete jungle that needs the facelift.
• Andy Roddick says he rarely roots for someone new to win a Slam, but he made an exception for Andy Murray.
"He gets it. He gets what it takes. It just seems that over the years he became more and more motivated, perhaps because of the pressures that were put on him, he almost took it the other way and ratcheted it up and worked harder, that is something you respect," Roddick said.
"I don't think you could have known that about him when he was 19 years old. He has taken his lumps, every defeat for him got magnified and to see him break through... I was really truly happy to see him have his success.
• The USTA donated $400,000 in supplies and cash to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.
• With Tomas Berdych's three-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday night, all Group A matches on Friday will be live rubbers, with upwards of 10 mathematical possibilities for each player to qualify. Here's a look at some of the scenarios. Can we get Nate Silver in here?
• Non-tennis: The Big Picture has a gallery of election day photos. 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.