Daily Bagel: What does Becker really bring to Djokovic's coaching team?
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: A collection of ATP Hot Shots from the Sony Open.
• Not an April Fools' joke: Andy Murray's new hotel opened Tuesday.
• Peter Bodo weighs in on the 187-pound gorilla in the room: Boris Becker.
The more recent emergence of the “celebrity coach” -- the group that includes, or included, [Ivan] Lendl (with Andy Murray), Stefan Edberg (with Roger Federer), and Boris Becker (with [Novak] Djokovic) -- further complicates things, as Djokovic’s situation attests. Becker, one of the great stars of the 1980s and 90s, is the 800-pound gorilla in the room whenever the chatter in a Djokovic press conference turns to coaching.
The 187-pound German in the conversation missed the entire March Masters swing in the U.S. because of surgery to replace both hips, during which [Marian] Vajda again helped Djokovic turn his game around. But Becker casts a long shadow, as you might expect from a player with such an outsized personality. Officially, Becker is “co-coach,” as Djokovic continues to insist, but wise heads wonder what he really brings to the table -- other than a massive jolt of publicity, not all of it good, that the Serb probably doesn’t need.
• Kimiko Date-Krumm, 43, knocked out No. 1 seed and Indian Wells champion Flavia Pennetta from the Monterrey Open. You know the rules: When Kimiko does something amazing, we all watch this.
• Venus Williams talks to CNN.com about her recent title in Dubai, living with Sjogren's syndrome, her puppy and more.
• Serena Williams' clay-court kit looks fantastic.
• Another great write-up from Steve Tignor about the passion that tennis and March Madness incite.
Tennis-fan hate reminds me more of the partisan divide in U.S. politics. First, you instinctively choose a side in a rivalry -- Rafa [Nadal] or Roger [Federer], Chris [Evert] or Martina [Navratilova], [Bjorn] Borg or [John] McEnroe, Serena or Justine [Henin]. From then on, you give your unconditional love to the player you’ve chosen, and despise everything about the player you’ve rejected. You always think the best of your favorite, and find whatever his or her rival does suspicious (at best). After a million close-ups on TV, your favorite player becomes a virtual member of your family -- no one understands this person the way you do. His or her rivals, as threats to the family member, must be destroyed. Or at least highly disliked.
• The ITF has released its doping statistics for 2013 by player.
• I can't stop laughing at this GIF.
• There's still time to vote for your favorite Wimbledon poster.
• Jelena Jankovic just can't stop fueling the wonderful Cult of Jelena with Vines like this:
Watch: What makes @jelena_jankovic laugh? You really wanna see this... #FCC2014https://t.co/xOlvIkmQV0• Non-tennis: Corgi charge!
— Family Circle Cup (@FamilyCircleCup) March 31, 2014