Tuesday October 8th, 2013


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

• Video: The WTA looks back on feat that probably will never be matched -- Martina Hingis winning a Grand Slam at just 16 years old.

• From TennisNow, 10 Questions with Martina Navratilova. Her thoughts on any whispers of retirement surrounding Roger Federer:

When you dominate as much as I did or as Roger did, anything less than that seems to be a step back. As long as he thinks he can still win a Slam, I would be the last person to say stop. If he thinks he can do it, and if he enjoys it, that’s all that matters. You just can’t believe the naysayers. I would have stopped back in the 70s if I believed what people were saying about me. I would have never had the 80s. The ball doesn’t know how old you are. If he can stay healthy and enjoy it, keep playing. We love to see him play.

• Goran Ivanisevic backs Rafael Nadal's bid to win more majors than Federer.

• A study has named Serena Williams, Peyton Manning and LeBron James as the highest contributors to the marketing of unhealthy foods among the world's most influential athletes.

• Victoria Azarenka has made more money per set this year than any other tennis player, including Williams and Nadal. That's some efficiency.

• Paul Newman of The Independent looks at tennis' slow growth in China. It's not as bleak as some might think, but it's going to be a long process.

Needing visas to travel to most countries makes it hard for Chinese players to get enough international competition, while travel costs can be prohibitive. Chinese players are also required to devote periods of the year to national competitions when they could be developing their own game.

The lack of a tennis tradition – the sport was largely ignored here until it returned to the Olympics in 1988 – means that many of the current generation of players were not exposed from an early age to the intensive training and coaching that have helped to develop so many future champions in other countries. Progress in the men’s game can be traced back to the establishment of a men’s tournament here in 1996. The staging in Shanghai of the 2002 Tennis Masters Cup (subsequently renamed the World Tour Finals and now held at the O2 Arena in London) was a major breakthrough and was followed by an even bigger coup when the city became the event’s home between 2005 and 2008. The impressive Qi Zhong Tennis Centre was completed in 2005 and is now the permanent site of the Shanghai Masters.

• The Tennis Space examines the numbers behind Serena's dominant year.

She has racked up 24 bagels (6-0 sets) and has won 65 of her 77 matches in straight sets, which is pretty phenomenal. When Hingis won 12 titles in 1997, she won 55 in straight sets but played far more events (19 to 16, including Fed Cup). Even [Steffi] Graf, in her incredible golden slam year of 1988, “only” won 64 matches in straight sets. Graf, the queen of the beat-down, managed 29 love sets that year. Henin went 63-4 in 2007 but had far more three-set battles.

• Ana Ivanovic and Andrea Petkovic rocked it at the always-entertaining player party at the Generali Ladies Linz.

• These WTA player photos are really well done. • Non-tennis: Apparently Daft Punk keeps tripping up The New York Times.

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