Daily Bagel: Australian Open reportedly asks Sharapova to take label off bottle
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Things are different in Australia. A pre-arranged skit, including inordinately large props, broke out during Bernard Tomic's first round match against Leonardo Mayer. Would never happen at Wimbledon.
• Not everybody thinks Maria Sharapova is perfect so far in Melbourne.
• Video: Rafael Nadal is practicing in Barcelona. In tights.
• Despite the prize money increases at the U.S. Open this year, The New York Times reports players are still unhappy and sound primed for a continued fight.
“Our point that we want to make is that we are addressing their concerns in a proactive and a substantial way, but we are the biggest tennis market in the world still,” Smith said. “We need to make sure we promote the game in this country so that the game remains popular, people play it, people are fans, and people are interested in it.”
Gimelstob expressed doubt that the players would accept the announced prize-money proposal and schedule without a fight, even if the U.S.T.A. tried to emphasize that it was only a one-year solution.
“I love the U.S. Open, but if the U.S.T.A. truly believes they can wait it out and hope they can weather the storm this year, there could be catastrophic consequences for both sides, and that is what I truly hope doesn’t happen,” he said.
• You know a loss is bad when your own website describes it as "shattering." But that's what Sam Stosur called her self-described "choke" against Zheng Jie, where she built a 5-2 double-break lead only to lose the next five games.
• For all the talk of Stosur's gut-wrenching choke -- that was the toughest non-injury related loss I've seen in years -- let's stop and give Zheng her due. She is after all a two-time Slam semifinalist. And she's earned her "Jay-Z" nickname.
• I tweeted a joke about Stosur's post-match press conference reminding me of the epically depressing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables. An enterprising and creative tennis fan actually came up with appropriate lyrics to "Les Mistosurables." Nice work, internet.
• Nice piece here from Louisa Thomas over at Grantland on the great Aussie hope, Bernard Tomic, who's done well to shed his "Tomic the Tank Engine" moniker. So far.
• I'll avoid the obvious Borat joke here: Doug Robson on how Kazakhstan put itself on the tennis map.
• Video: Hey, do you think 18-year-old Yulia Putintseva was excited about her first-round upset of Christina McHale? I can't tell. • Non-tennis: An American single malt whiskey beat out some famed Scottish ones in a blind taste test conducted by a British panel.