Daily Bagel: What Serena, Sharapova, Nadal, Federer will wear at French Open
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: A mesmerizing video of the making of this year's Coupe des Mousquetaires, the trophy awarded to the men's French Open champion.
• Here's what Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro will be wearing at the French Open this year. It's very ... grey?
• And for the ladies, here's what Nike has for Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and Li Na.
• Is tennis ready for a gay ATP player to come out of the closet? According to the players, it's hard to say.
In searching for answers, players offered several possibilities for the lack of openly gay men and scarcity of publicly out women.
Some wondered if a global sport like tennis might actually be less tolerant due to the complicated matrix of nationalities, languages and religions.
"It's so many different islands," said Mike Bryan, who with twin brother Bob is ranked No. 1 in doubles. "I don't know how everyone feels on that issue."
Others such as American veteran Michael Russell pointed to the timeworn but still persistent idea that locker room etiquette is a deterrent.
"It's pretty open in the locker room," said Russell, who nevertheless said he'd have no problems in that scenario. "Maybe they'd feel uncomfortable."
• Interesting read from Game, Set, Map on the public availability (or not) of Hawk-Eye data. It seems no one knows who owns the rights to the data, and it's extremely difficult for a third party to get its hands on it. GSM makes a compelling argument that giving fans access to the data would be good for the sport.
Open data initiatives have been actively gaining momentum (outside of sport) as governments and private industry see the benefit of making their data freely available. Late last year however, the Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) opened up some of its match data so it could crowd source new ways of visualizing the data and encourage innovative ways of making use of it (read the Forbes article about the MCFC programhere). They were essentially tapping into the crowd’s knowledge and passion for the game to better understand their players and opposing teams. If the governing bodies of tennis were to do this it would open up a unique opportunity to engage with the fans and media like never before. Tim Davies whom is an open data advocate calls this making use of “social infrastructure” that surrounds sports. Opening up the vast of amounts of tennis match data available at a relatively low cost (or for free), would lead to third party innovation, where the next generation of tennis fans could design innovative products, which may result in a new wave of interest in tennis analytics and spawn many new products in tennis.
• Peter Bodo compares today's Big Four with one Big Four of the past: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.
One of my favorite stats is winning percentage in Grand Slam finals, and that’s one category in which we have a telling upset: Federer’s 70.8 winning percentage (17-24) outshines even Borg’s 68.7% on 11 of 16.
One area were today’s Big Four is unlikely to ever catch the original group is in total singles titles won (across all events). The most prolific champion of all is Connors, with 109 singles titles; his nearest challenger is Lendl, with 94. The original Big Four won a total of 344 titles.
Today’s Big Four are unlikely to match that output. The leader is Federer, with 76 titles, trailed by Nadal with 54. But Djokovic and Murray fall off sharply; their 63 combined titles is still one shy of the least prolific man in the original quartet, Borg, who owns 64. But keep in mind that in the early years of the Open era, a less-organized game sometimes featured competitive tours and circuits that created more chances to play than today’s players are offered.
• Some great photos of Sloane Stephens in this month's ESPN the Magazine. Based on the title of the piece, "They Want Another Serena," I'm interested to hear what she has to say.
• Another breakdown of the money earned on the ATP tour for being a consistent first-round loser. Janko Tipsarevic pocketed over $70,000 in five tournaments where he didn't win a match.
• If you want to trace the success of Russian tennis, it all starts with Yevgeny Kafelnikov. From Marat Safin to Maria Sharapova, all the Russians cite him as their inspiration.
• CNN catches up with Grigor Dimitrov. Let's do the kid a solid and stop with the "Baby Federer" nickname. It does no one any favors. • Non-tennis: The Portland Timbers/Thorns are the class of their respective leagues thanks to their fans. Here's another example: 3,000 showed up to cheer on an 8-year old kid with cancer.