Daily Bagel: Novak Djokovic prepares for 2012 - Sports Illustrated

Daily Bagel: Novak Djokovic prepares for 2012

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

• I was sitting in torrential rain on Henman Hill when this rib-shaking clap of thunder sent everyone running for cover. I always wondered how much sound the Centre Court roof kept out. Turns out, not a whole lot.

• "You cannot just have mental strength at the start of your career. You have to develop. You have to work. You have to be patient. It took me four, five years in a professional circuit to really understand myself, to perfect my game as much as possible and to be mentally experienced and confident enough that I can win major titles." Novak Djokovic is already back on the practice court preparing himself for the daunting task of defending his 2011 season.

• In this era of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, it's pretty difficult for a women's match to ever get the nod for the best tennis match of the year. But Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone definitely gave people something to think about in their four-hour, 44-minute epic in Australia.

• "This one definitely isn’t going to happen, but we would like to impose a “cliché quota” upon all tennis commentators. For instance, you may refer to “warrior spirit” or “the raging bull” only once per set during a Nadal match; Ferrer can be “dogged,” but only once every nine games; if you are calling a Vika match, you can say “temperament” a maximum of twice throughout the duration, and so on and so forth." Here's a fun tennis wish list for 2012 from a couple of die-hard tennis fans.

• Pete Sampras joined Li Na, Sabine Lisicki, and Carlos Moya for what looked like an absolutely frigid exhibition in China.

• Andrea Petkovic, who finished the year ranked No. 10 in the world and was the only women's player on Tour to reach the quarterfinals of all four Slams, came in second in voting for Germany's Sportswoman of the Year. You're not going to beat out a biathlete, Petko. They have guns and stuff.

The best long-form sports reporting of 2011