Daily Pain: A look inside the French Open locker room
The Daily Pain is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet during the French Open (otherwise known as the Daily Bagel).
• Video: A glimpse inside the French Open locker room. Rafa plays poker, obviously.
• Finally, the definitive piece on the world of courtside tennis betting -- or, as it's known, "courtsiding" -- by Carl Bialik for FiveThirtyEight.
The potential for delays means someone who can get score data faster has an advantage. That’s why courtsiders are courtside. The second the ball lands out, or bounces twice, they can click a button on their phones and transmit the score directly into the servers their employers use to place bets. The servers, in turn, contain software that models the outcome of the match. The model incorporates the latest point outcome, spits out a probability of each player winning, and then places any bets it can find that it considers favorable based on its calculated probability.
That’s basic courtsiding. A more advanced courtsider will get to know the players and their tendencies, and sometimes make calculated risks to gain a bigger betting edge. Suppose a player on the run throws up a lob. If his opponent’s body language suggests it’s going out, the courtsider can record the point as over before it’s officially ended. Or he might call a shot out before the line judge does, trusting his own eyesight and judgment.
• Agnieszka Radwanska makes The Wall Street Journal's list of the most misspelled names in sports.
• Why tennis needs to focus on the sport and not its stars: Because the sport is forever and stars will fade.
• Simona Halep finally making a name for herself on the big stage.
• Bernard Tomic can't escape the partying rumors, and these are not good.
• The rise of Grigor Dimitrov lines up perfectly with his relationship with Maria Sharapova.• Non-tennis: Try your luck at spelling these final-round words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee.