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Daily Bagel: Djokovic nears Greatness

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

• Video: Top 10 Hot Shots from the ATP World Tour Finals. Gotta love Robbie Koenig's commentary after Roger Federer's pick-up winner against Andy Murray. "The last time we saw that shot God was a boy."

• Ed McGrogan, for ESPN.com, writes that Novak Djokovic may be on the verge of Greatness, with a capital "G." McGrogan brings up a good stat: Djokovic has now won seven of his last 10 matches against Federer.

I still feel the most likely slip-ups Djokovic will encounter in 2013 will be against an ascending Murray, a healthy Nadal and a still-motivated Federer. But no one challenger truly stands above the rest, and I have concerns about Djokovic's two top rivals, Roger and Rafa. In a pecking order full of questions, I offer you one sure answer: Novak Djokovic will not have a better opportunity to collect more Grand Slam titles and build his case as one of tennis' all-time great players than he will in the next 24 months.

• Good piece here on why the WTA's new $125K tournaments, which are easy to ignore given their spot in the post-season calendar, might be worth watching.

Is this an awful lot of fanfare for two events that barely count as WTA titles? Perhaps. But if this trend continues, the WTA may have finally found a formula to allow up-and-comers to smoothly transition onto the senior tour without sacrificing the abundant confidence they took with them from the juniors. In other words, the WTA125’s potential lies in helping the prodigies, young guns, whatever you want to call them, to begin realizing their potential, and if that succeeds, these podunk post-season tournaments could become the real tournaments of champions.

• Chinese teenager Zhang Yuxuan has been awarded the first Australian Open wild card after winning the inaugural Asia-Pacific Australian Open wild-card playoff.

• The ITF wants to see more blood tests for doping done next year but, as always, funding is an issue.

• Per this Swedish article (translated here), Robin Soderling's career is still up in the air.

• Sad to hear that Mary Laver, wife to Rod, has died at 84.

Women Who Serve takes a look back at the WTA season.

• Non-tennis: The ultimate takedown: A New York Times critic reviews Guy Fieri's new restaurant in Times Square.

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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