Daily Bagel: ATP wives and girlfriends

Wednesday June 13th, 2012

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

• Video: ATP Uncovered looks at the ever-present wives and girlfriends of ATP. Unfortunately, not even the ATP can land an exclusive interview with the Queen Bees: Mirka Federer, Xisca Perello, Jelena Ristic, Kim Sears, or even Brooklyn Decker. Bummer.

• Good look here at how Rafael Nadal's backhand held up against Novak Djokovic's consistent attacks in the Roland Garros men's final.

From 1-2 in the fourth set on Monday, Nadal’s backhand was an incredible defensive weapon, only giving up three ground stroke errors and one return error. Nadal would not make any backhand errors (or winners) in the last four games of the match from 4-3 onwards. His shield was there for him when he needed it most.

• SI.com's Bruce Jenkins has a nice roundup here of some of the best quips and quotes from the commentary crews at NBC, ESPN, and Tennis Channel during the French Open. For one liners, you can always count on Martina Navratilova:

On the supremely determined Sharapova facing Kaia Kanepi in the quarterfinals: "She was clenching her fist before the match even started."

• SI's S.L. Price talks about the French Open on Slate's Hang Up and Listen podcast. Enjoyed his comments about the misconception that tennis is a country club sport.

It's actually the most American sport, I would say, in the sense that that it's an immigrant sport. Sampras was the son of immigrants, Agassi, the son of immigrants. This is the place where people come to play and you have a lot of first generation immigrants and it's bare-knuckle stuff. These people are doing to make money for their families and make life better for themselves. It's classic Americana... It's one of the great perceptional problems with the game is that at it's highest level we're talking about extremely hungry people. Almost nobody comes out of the upper classes to play tennis at the highest level.

• The best news coming out of this roundup of ESPN's coverage plans for Wimbledon is that tape-delayed broadcasts are getting a well-deserved boot. It's amazing that in this digital age of 24-hour news cycles, the internet and Twitter, that any premier sporting event would ever be OK with tape-delayed coverage.

On second-week coverage in past years, NBC and ESPN juggled time slots, with NBC sometimes picking matches and airing them on tape-delay rather than pre-empting its Today show. This year, says ESPN vice president Jamie Reynolds, everything will be live and "multi-plexed rather than patchwork" as ESPN focuses on Centre Court action and ESPN2 on everything else.

• Martina Navratilova wonders why Sam Stosur struggles with inconsistency.

• The Halle tournament could add a WTA event in 2014. The LTA, which runs all the grass lead-ups in Britain, can't be too excited about that.

• Non-tennis: 10 stupid internet videos that will never stop being funny.

See or read something that you enjoyed and want to share? Feel free to email or tweet us links to pieces from around the Internet that may have slipped past our radar.
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