Daily Bagel: Andre Agassi discusses business ventures, life after tennis
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Andre Agassi sits down with The Wall Street Journal to discuss his new business ventures and life after tennis.
• The Daily Mail has inducted Roger Federer into its sporting Hall of Fame.
• The ITF responds to criticism of its anti-doping policies.
• In case you were wondering, Wozilroy is still going strong.
• Format changes would improve Davis Cup as a competition, but the ITF isn't going to hear it. From the BBC's Russell Fuller:
[Andy] Murray suggested to BBC Sport in September, when he made his return to the Great Britain side for the successful World Group play-off against Croatia, that the competition should be made "mandatory" to boost its position in the calendar.
Others argue that an annual competition spread throughout the season is no longer viable, but Francesco Ricci Bitti -- head of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which organises the Davis Cup -- says widespread reform is not on the agenda.
"We do our best to improve and to listen, but what we are not prepared to breach is our principles: home and away ties, nomination [choice of players] by the country, and the yearly competition," he said at September's draw for the 2014 competition.
"People talk about [playing every] two years, but it's a very naive idea. The tennis calendar is an annual calendar, so if you change one year, you have to adjust again."
• The New York Times profiles Janko Tipsarevic, who began the season in the top 10 and has fallen to No. 36. Tipsarevic has been ruled out of the Davis Cup final due to injury, though is anyone ever really ruled out? The 29-year-old Serb rejects the poverty narrative that is sometimes too easy to tell.
“Look, to be honest with you, I don’t want to cry and say it was ridiculously tough,” Tipsarevic said of his unlikely path to success. “It was, but I honestly didn’t feel it that much. I was lucky enough that I had a very, very dedicated father who was at the time working three jobs to support my tennis, and just for the record, I don’t really like these Rocky Balboa stories: He was poor and didn’t have money and then from nothing he became something, you know.”
“Obviously it was really difficult,” he added, “but I was lucky enough that I had a father who was providing me enough to dress and eat and play enough tennis. I was lucky enough to be surrounded with good people who were pushing me to work hard, and this is how it happened.”
There were foreign backers, too, including the management company ProServ whose representatives spotted Tipsarevic at a junior tournament and gave him funding. “Borrowed money,” Tipsarevic said. “Which later on I returned ’til the last penny.”
• Eugenie Bouchard has been doing quite a bit of Canadian press in her offseason. It's well-deserved after a great season. From Rachel Brady of The Globe and Mail:
Compelling results in Bouchard’s rookie season on tour prompted legendary tennis star Martina Navratilova to call the Canadian a “potential Grand Slam champion.” She made her first WTA final in Osaka, Japan, rallied to two semi-finals, upset world No. 12 Ana Ivanovic on centre court at Wimbledon, and beat top-15 players such as Sloane Stevens and Jelena Jankovic. She also took Williams to three sets in Cincinnati.
“Serena was so accurate with every shot, she could put her serve anywhere she wanted to, and I found it tough to predict where she was going,” Bouchard says. “I need to improve my anticipation and running to the ball, but that gave me so much experience, so did being on centre court with Sharapova at the French Open, with Ivanovic at Wimbledon.
“You can’t duplicate those moments; you can’t feel that in practice. Now, when I walk onto a centre court, I know I’ve been there.”
• Too soon? Too bad. The Mubadala World Championships exhibition event in Abu Dhabi has released its draw already and it looks like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray could face off on Dec. 27. Rafael Nadal is also in the field. • Non-tennis: Here's a corgi swimming.