Daily Bagel: 2016 Olympic tennis update
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Rafael Nadal eats a bowlful of his favorite Quely cookies, and it's oddly mesmerizing.
• An update on what tennis at the 2016 Olympics will look like.
• Andy Roddick is on his way to TV: The retired U.S. star will be joining Fox Sports Live as an analyst. I cannot wait for that.
• Roger Federer weighs in on Andy Murray's back problems.
• Mahesh Bhupathi's International Premier Tennis League is gaining traction and getting commitments from big-name players. I'll believe it when I see it, though. When asked in Rome about possibly playing in the league, Maria Sharapova was fairly dismissive about committing for a full season as opposed to playing one-off matches. Here's Christopher Clarey of The New York Times on plans for the Asia-based offseason league:
It is to be a team tennis league with franchises in six, as-yet-unspecified Asian cities. It is modeled in part on something relatively new (the Indian Premier League in cricket, which began in 2008) and on something relatively old (World Team Tennis, the U.S. league founded in 1973).
For now, Bhupathi’s brainchild appears to have a surprising level of preliminary support from the people who matter most in tennis: the major stars.
Bhupathi said that those who have committed to the project include Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. Roger Federer, for the moment at least, is not involved.
• It feels like Sharapova has been around forever, which makes it easy to overlook the fact she's transitioned from teenage ingenue to adult seamlessly.
"She's beautiful, wealthy, with a Hall of Fame career, but the hunger hasn't seemed to subside one percent," says Tracy Austin, who won her first of two U.S. Opens at 16. "I've enjoyed watching her develop."
What keeps it fresh for Sharapova is that she has internalized her satisfaction rather than playing to validate herself: "It's become much more personal for me than showing to the world that I won. Before I was like, 'Wow, I achieved this. Look what I did!' Now my victories are mine. I'm much more grateful inside and I could really care less about anyone else."
• The cultural and language barriers for the Americans in Paris can make Roland Garros a very stressful and foreign experience.
• When Billie Jean King speaks, you listen. It's a simple rule to live by.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, as she began trying to engage male tennis stars to step up for the women's game, "These same men that we would go dancing with and be friends with rejected us," King says. "Some of our guys said, 'They won't even go across the street to see you play. They won't even pay you a dime.'
"And that's very hurtful when these guys are your friends. So that was a really painful time, to have that disconnect. Because as a girl, as a woman, you know, we like to connect. Very girlie stuff, and that's who I am, that part of me."
• Sam Stosur says she's injury-free going into the French Open. She had chances to beat Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals of Rome, so she could be a dark horse in Paris.
• The ATP catches up with former junior No. 1 Filip Peliwo of Canada.
• Heather Watson is primed to return to the French Open after a bout with mono.
• Tennis players react on Facebook to Nadal's win over Federer in Rome.