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Daily Bagel: Sam Stosur needs a break

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

• Video: A squirrel interrupted Sabine Lisicki's match at the U.S. Open. Weirdly, it's not the first time that's happened.

• Alicia Molik says Sam Stosur needs to take a break.

Stosur was devastated by her flop against 17-year-old Duval, having led by a set and 4-2. Molik, another former Taylor pupil, said that "not having the person there that you've always had with you" would have been unfamiliar and perhaps unsettling.

"Sam's obviously incredibly disappointed – it's rough," said Molik, who had helped to prepare Stosur last week. "But I think it will be good for her to take time away after the US Open, and for her to really have some moments away from tennis, away from the limelight, away from tournaments, to really settle down and find the direction and the pathway, and the person that she feels will again bring out the best in her.

• From The New York Times, these new claims that The Battle of the Sexes was fixed by the mafia sound fishy.

Nobody featured in this incredible tale is still alive except Shaw, the assistant golf pro who says he overheard everything. While it’s possible that Shaw kept it to himself for 40 years because he’s just not a chatty guy, one of the other lead players was talkative in the extreme. Frank Ragano, who allegedly orchestrated the gathering, eventually produced a memoir, “Mob Lawyer,” which he wrote with Selwyn Raab. There is nothing in it about tennis.

“Ragano would have mentioned it to me,” said Nicholas Pileggi, a longtime friend of Ragano’s who wrote the book’s foreword. “He wanted to do the book, and he kept telling me: ‘This could go in the book. That could go in the book.’ Anything that was going to help promote the book.”

Pileggi, one of the world’s great experts on all things Mafia, was offended at the idea that anyone could imagine top mob bosses trotting into a country club and hashing out a long-running plot to fix a tennis match in the pro shop. “The notion of Santo Trafficante and Carlos Marcello appearing together in a public locker room is so outrageous,” he sniffed. “These guys do not meet.”

•'s Eli Bernstein on the chaotic and ADD-fueled experience of the first few rounds at the U.S. Open.

• Nice espnW piece on Jamie Hampton, who's set to play Sloane Stephens on Friday.

• Kei Nishikori crashed out in the first round, but thanks to the Japanese market he's still one of the top earning tennis players in the world.

• A chat with Bob Whyley, Senior VP at Tennis Channel.

• Simon Cambers at The Tennis Space on the uncomfortable relationship between tennis and betting.

• It's been a rough week for the top personalities in tennis, which is a bummer for us writers.

Rye N. Gosling