Daily Bagel: Venus paying her dues
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Dmitry Tursunov is getting a lot of attention for his humorous critique of Rafael Nadal, but what about his tennis? How about this 38-shot rally to save match point against Grigor Dimitrov in Rotterdam? (Tursunov went on to lose.)
• It sounds like Nadal is good to go for next week's inaugural Rio Open.
• Venus Williams lost to Petra Kvitova 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7) in the second round of the Qatar Open, but she believes it's just a matter of time until these tight matches go her way.
"I realise I have to pay my dues," Venus added, meaning that she cannot expect immediately to re-acquire an ability to win tight matches after a lengthy period away from big competitive situations.
"You know, I have to keep getting in these positions. I haven't played as much as my opponents, so I have to stay out there and kind of get comfortable in those positions and just kind of go at it with the right mentality.
"I didn't necessarily go after it the way I should have (against Kvitova) but as long as I keep getting in the right positions, I'll convert," she concluded.
She says her mother, who has never been to any stadium to watch her play, not even the Olympics in Beijing, finally got a chance to appreciate the work her daughter does by reading the book.
"I really wish people can now understand what I'm doing and what I do. Especially my mum," added Li Na. "I think for my mum is special, because when I won the French Open she called me saying, ‘Oh, Li Na, you only won one tournament. Why are you in all the newspapers?'
“I was like ‘Thanks, mom,“ because she's not interested in any sport. I don't know how to explain to her what I am doing. So at least after the book, she will have a better understanding.”
• Li lost to Petra Cetkovska at the Qatar Open on Thursday.
• ESPN.com hands out "tennis medals."
• Challenger Tennis kicked off a countdown of the top 10 Challenger-level players to watch.
• The ITF is allowing Aisam Qureshi to play for Pakistan in this weekend's Davis Cup tie against Vietnam. Quereshi needed a waiver because he played a tournament in Rotterdam this week and the ITF rules state a player cannot play two events in one week.
• Video: Dimitrov went with the standard tweener volley in his win over Tursunov (boy, a lot happened in that match, huh?). Dimitrov, however, lost to Ernests Gulbis in the second round.
• Non-tennis: SI.com counts down the 50 Greatest Winter Olympians.