Daily Bagel: Venus Williams scores huge win over Victoria Azarenka in Tokyo
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Some cool footage of a young Roger Federer training in Switzerland.
• Venus Williams scored a big won over No. 2 Victoria Azarenka at the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Tuesday, defeating an ailing Azarenka, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the third round.
"She didn't seem like herself at all,'' Williams said. "Hitting the double-faults, I could tell she wasn't feeling her best. I am not sure what was bothering her but I hope she feels better.''
Azarenka, who lost to Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open, broke Williams to make it 4-4 in the second set after trailing 4-2. But Williams came right back in the next game to go up 5-4 ad then served out to win the match in 1 hour, 21 minutes.
"I didn't sleep at all last night,'' Azarenka said. "You can't play at 20 percent against one of the top players. I've been feeling bad for a couple of days and it just got worse today.''
• While Venus won, Sloane Stephens couldn't fend off Canada's Genie Bouchard, losing 5-7, 7-6 (7), 6-3. That's a great win for Bouchard.
Stephens pulled off a miracle comeback early in the match, falling behind 5-0 but then winning seven straight games to take the first set; she eventually found herself just two points away from winning the match leading 75 53, but Bouchard never stopped fighting, winning in three.
"It was definitely an up and down match," Bouchard said. "I've known her since I was 12, and I've practiced with her a lot, so it's always tough playing someone like that - it's always a bit more mental.
"I was disappointed with that first set, but she definitely raised her level. But then I kept trying and fighting, and even when my level wasn't quite there, I stayed positive. I think that paid off today."
• Kamakshi Tandon for ESPN on the WTA's focus on Asia.
Although Europe still has the highest concentration of the 54 tournaments on the WTA -- as well as over two-thirds of the top 100 -- Asian events now outnumber North American ones. The Asia-Pacific region as a whole will account for 23 of the tour's events in 2014.
The shift has been caused largely by financial factors. The tour, still without a lead global sponsor following the departure of Sony Ericsson last year, wants to put tournaments in its most lucrative locales -- traditional strongholds like Europe, the U.S. and rapidly growing Southeast Asia.
"I think we just made a strategic decision to nurture our mature markets and make them successful, [plus] look at where an opportunity is -- one market," WTA CEO Stacey Allaster told ESPN.com at the New York Tennis Debate last month. "And we chose Asia in 2008.
"And we're only starting," she added. "We haven't even begun to realize the opportunity of China and Southeast Asia."
• Fun interview by Reem Abuileil for Sport360 with Adel Aref, a now retired chair umpire who recounts the famous incident in 2006 when Andy Murray cursed him out.
Andy was very young. Great Britain against Serbia and Montenegro at the time – it was a huge tie. It was during the doubles, Murray completely lost it on a line call, on the far sideline.
I couldn’t really do anything because it’s on the far sideline and it’s very tough to overrule a line umpire who is there. So he was going on and on for a while. The microphones were under my chair and Andy didn’t have the experience at that time and the BBC picked up everything and it became huge.
The next day I literally couldn’t get out of my hotel. I had to go out from the back door. It was drama. We’re not allowed to talk to the media in these kind of things and I had to basically bite the bullet. Andrew Castle said on BBC at the time that I was right, so that was a small consolation.
Sometimes it’s so unfair that you can’t explain what happened. But the fact that Murray was fined was a huge thing. The next Wimbledon, everyone was still talking about it. Funny enough, when I was living in Monte Carlo, Murray was there for a couple of weeks, we would literally not talk to each other. We would walk in the same street and pass each other and never say anything.
• WTA CEO Stacy Allaster says the women are "ready, willing, and able" to play best of five sets at the Grand Slams for equal prize money.
• If you can read German, this article would tell you the retired Patty Schnyder has split from her husband Rainer Hoffman. Let's look back on one of their more memorable moments on the WTA Tour, when Hofmann went all Charlie Brown on Daniela Hantuchova's water bottles in Luxembourg in 2007: