Daily Bagel: Best shots from Week 1 of Australian Open
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Some of the best shots from Week 1 at the Australian Open
• Steve Tignor weighs in on Roger Federer's solid victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
If you had “full flight” or “vintage Federer” or “classic Federer” or “the Federer of old,” or “Roger that” in your Australian Open drinking game tonight...well, you’re probably not able to read this. That was the theme of the evening inside Rod Laver Arena as the Maestro—drink!—turned back the clock, put on a clinic for the fans, and put the proverbial wood to the 10th-seeded Tsonga, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, in under two hours. The numbers were undeniably vintage. Federer hit 43 winners against just 21 errors, won 88 percent of his first-serve points, and was 34 of 41 at the net. That last stat was downright prehistoric, like a flashback to his first Wimbledon title in 2003, when he served and volleyed his way through much of the fortnight.
Judging from the last two Australian Opens, there’s reason to be cautious about the sustainability of his brilliant play. But there was also something undeniably encouraging about that play tonight. The ball sounded bigger coming off of Federer’s strings inside Laver Arena. It sounded fuller. It sounded, dare I say it, sublime. Drink!
• Sloane Stephens was flat in her loss to Victoria Azarenka, writes Melissa Isaacson of espnW.com.
• Here's The Changeover's live analysis of Stephens-Azarenka.
• USA Today's Doug Robson explores why WTA players have a harder time staying friendly than their ATP counterparts.
• Kei Nishikori earned a lot of respect in defeat on Monday.
• Greg Bishop of The New York Times has a good read on Federer's change to a bigger racket.
“Rackets are the most important thing for a tennis player,” said Darren Cahill, who played and coached and now works as an ESPN analyst. “Understanding it. Knowing it. Trusting it. It’s part of your family. Those stories of people putting their rackets on their bed and sleeping with them, it’s what we live with. We see more of our rackets than we do of anybody else in our lives.”
• Grigor Dimitrov isn't satisfied despite making his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
• Peter Bodo came away impressed with Dominika Cibulkova's performance against Maria Sharapova.
• A fly-on-the-wall view of a Fedberg practice session, from the mind of Alix Ramsay.• Non-tennis: The Friday Night Lights storyline fans never got to see.