Thursday November 21st, 2013

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

• Video: The ATP recaps their 2013 season. You can see Part 2 here.

• Think Progress sets the record straight regarding this CNN headline about Patrick Mouratoglou: "The Man Who Rescued Serena Williams."

The idea that, struggling with her game, Serena need a “man” to set her straight is a tempting confirmation of cliched gender stereotypes. But the reality is, as Mouratoglou notes at the end of his CNN interview, Serena is the fully capable of straightening herself out, “Come on, you don’t need your coach every time you’re broken. You have to think what you should do and look for a solution, and this is something that Serena really has in herself.”

• Bernard Tomic celebrated his 21st birthday in proper fashion at a nightclub club called "Sin City" in Australia. No need to read between the lines of the article, as the photo captions do that for you.

• Alisa Kleybanova is the WTA Comeback Player of the Year. Simona Halep wins Most Improved.

• Serena will begin her 2014 season at the Brisbane International.

• The Heavy Topspin Blog crunches the numbers to determine how fast (or slow) the different courts played this year.

For the second year in a row, the high-altitude clay of Sao Paulo was the fastest-playing surface on tour.  The altitude also appears to play a role in making Gstaad quicker than the typical clay.

As for the slowing of indoor courts, the evidence is inconclusive.  The O2 Arena, site of the World Tour Finals, rated as slower than average in 2011 and 2012, on a level with some of the slowest hard courts on tour.  This year, it came out above average, and a three-year weighted average puts the O2 at the exact middle of the ATP court-speed range.

• Catching up with the newly retired David Nalbandian. In tennis, timing is everything. From Christopher Clarey's story:

“He could have been No. 1,” said David Ferrer, the Spanish star who, at age 31 also, has seen enough of Nalbandian to know.

Instead, Nalbandian peaked at No. 3 in 2006 before falling to injuries and a flickering commitment to conditioning that sometimes left him looking soft around the middle in a hard-body era.

Which brings us to his timing.

“I had the good luck and the bad luck to coincide with practically the two best players in the history of world tennis,” he told the Argentine newspaper La Nación. “Let me sum it up for you: Federer and Nadal. Roger broke all the records, and Rafa is on the brink. To have shared this great era with them, to have beaten them, lost to them and been at this level has given me a lot of pride.”

• Five things new ATP president Chris Kermode needs to address.

•'s controversy of the year: doping suspensions.

• A glimpse at last week's ATP Challenger in Champagne, Ill. • Non-tennis: Read Michael Cera's text message exchanges with a complete stranger, who eventually became a friend. Kind of.

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