Daily Bagel: Mardy Fish loses first match at Savannah Challenger
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: A very cool animated clip of the late David Foster Wallace talking about his young tennis career.
• Mardy Fish lost to No. 103 Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the Savannah Challenger on Tuesday. Fish was playing his first match since a third-round loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Indian Wells on March 12, his debut tournament in 2013 after being out since the U.S. Open because of a heart condition. The 31-year-old American has also accepted a wild card for next week's Tallahassee Challenger.
• Peter Bodo on what he took away from Novak Djokovic's victory over Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo final.
[D]jokovic seems a remarkably relaxed competitor. Surely you noticed how unperturbed he looked in his match with Nadal and how, by contrast, Nadal looked so ... so stressed. One of Djokovic’s advantages is that his relaxed, loose manner brings out something in Nadal that isn’t always beneficial to him — that great, underlying streak of caution.
• Steve Tignor wonders whether the dramatic prize-money increases at the Slams will benefit the fans.
The money, in theory, should work both ways. It may be a disincentive for established players to try harder, but what about those who are striving to reach the main draws in the first place? There’s more incentive now to make the cut-off for the Grand Slams. Whatever the dollar numbers are, there will always be players who are content to pick up a check each week, and there will always be players who are driven to do more, to become champions regardless of the pay—it’s the latter that make the sport what it is. Slackers with bad attitudes will never go away, but even some of the most blatantly money-driven players, such as Nikolay Davydenko, can bring good value to spectators.
• In light of the 60 percent increase at Wimbledon for players who lose in the first three rounds, Simon Cambers of The Tennis Space looks at how "losers" can make a pretty fine living.
A case in point? Robin Haase. The Dutchman, who by the way could easily pass as a double for former Holland football star Ruud van Nistelrooy, is hugely talented and has had his moments over the past few years, even if he has never quite fulfilled that talent. That said, just last summer he was ranked a career-high No 33 and even until last week he was inside the top 50. Losing points from a good run this time last year means he is No 71 at the time of writing but it might surprise you to know that during 2012 – the best year of his career in terms of ranking – he lost in the first round in 17 ATP Tour events.
That’s right, I said 17. That’s 17 out of 27 regular Tour events, including grand slams. He finished with a record of 19 wins, 28 losses. But here’s the thing. He won $441,875, in singles alone. That’s not bad for someone who in 17 events, did not win a match. How did he do it? By timing his efforts well. Specifically, he won a title, in Kitzbuhel, to earn $64,000; he reached a Masters Series quarter-final in Monte Carlo to pocket $57,000 and the increases in prize money for early losers in the slams helped him immensely.
• If you're having problems getting your head around the Wimbledon prize-money bump, USA Today Sports came up with a nifty graphic. A first-round loser will make more than Bjorn Borg did when he won the 1980 tournament. • Non-tennis: Brittney Griner and the Quiet Queering of Professional Sports.