Daily Bagel: Maria Kirilenko calls off engagement with Alex Ovechkin
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Another engagement ends: Maria Kirilenko and Alex Ovechkin call it off.
• From Newsweek: How Novak Djokovic became Serbia's brand ambassador.
Restoring a sense of national pride can be difficult but, usually, it doesn’t take as long as altering the perception of the outside world. To get the job done quickly, a nation needs an untainted hero to emerge from somewhere to offer the world a completely different perspective.
Against all the odds for a country that, historically, had not paid much attention to the sport, that hero turned out to be a tennis player called Djokovic. His thrilling victory over Roger Federer, in one of the Championships’ best finals last week, will certainly embellish a reputation that had been growing even before Djokovic startled the tennis world by going unbeaten through the first five months of 2011 and becoming so dominant over a period of 13 months that he won four Grand Slam titles out of five.
• Here's a Roger Federer cover story for El Pais (in Spanish).
• Video: The U.S Open Series kicks off this week in Atlanta. Time to dust off this outtakes video of from the "Greatest Road Trip in Sports" ad campaign:
• Sports on Earth catches up with Venus Williams at World Team Tennis.
Twenty years since making her professional debut, Williams is now 34 years old, but has no plans on retiring anytime soon -- despite suffering through health issues for the past few years. Still, unlike single-minded athletes who have few outside interests, Williams is an entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience.
Since 2002, Williams has owned V*Starr Interiors, an interior design firm. In 2007, she signed an exclusive licensing agreement with discount retailer Steve & Barry's to distribute EleVen. Steve & Barry's filed for bankruptcy protection the next year and closed all of its 276 stores. Williams relaunched the brand in 2012.
"[The companies] help me appreciate tennis more because it's a lot of work," Williams said. "You start at the bottom and you've to got to build, build, build, little blocks at a time. I appreciate being at the top of the [tennis] game. I appreciate being where I am, and of course that took many years to build…I'm doing something I love. I love design, so that makes it a lot easier to work at it because I love it."
• Do you miss Juan Martin del Potro? Even if you don't, bookmark this Tumblr of nothing but pictures of Delpo and fans.
• CNN talks to Clive Brunskill of Getty Images about photographing tennis' best.
• Non-tennis: Gawker writer tests the limits of TGIFriday's unlimited mozzarella sticks promotion.