Daily Bagel: Roger Federer breaks second-longest title drought
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: A collection of the best ATP Hot Shots of the first half of the season.
• Roger Federer won his first title in 10 months, breaking his second-longest title dry spell. His longest? The time between his first and second career titles.
• British reporter Alix Ramsay has a scathing take on the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club.
If ever there was an event that flaunted privilege, money and sheer snobbery, this is it. Apparently, the Queen’s Club members loathe the tournament and its invasion of their home almost as much as the right-minded journalists do as, for the week of the event, the place is awash with the worst kind of upper-middle class, pretentious (and usually completely bladdered) wannabe toffs. They are not old money like Wimbledon; they are new money and they are desperate to show it off.
The women are made up to the nines (and once the first flush of youth has passed them by, they are so heavily made up that they dare not smile for fear of cracking) while the chaps are dressed in one of three uniforms: the younger ones have expensive jeans, Gucci loafers and a navy blue blazer; those approaching middle age wear ridiculously coloured corduroys, a blue blazer and over-priced brogues while those of a certain age wear ill-fitting suits. And all have a jug of Pimms and a braying voice that carries for miles. And all of them despise the proles: those of us who either work at the event or who come to the tournament as tennis fans wanting to see a decent match.
• From Steve Tignor of Tennis.com: With Federer and Andy Murray winning grass titles last week, Rafael Nadal in top form and Novak Djokovic ranked No. 1 is 2013 Wimbledon the toughest one in years to handicap?
My colleague Richard Evans has made Murray his favorite for Wimbledon, based on his play on grass over the last year—finalist at Wimbledon, winner at the Olympics, winner at Queen’s. That’s all true, but also not a ton to go on. And it’s not like the rest of the Big 4 are exactly lagging. Roger Federer won his first event since August on grass in Halle today, Rafael Nadal has won seven titles in nine appearances in 2013, and Novak Djokovic is still No. 1 in the world. Of these three, Nadal might be the toughest ask for Murray, at least on paper. Unlike Federer and Djokovic, he’s never beaten Rafa on Centre Court. Murray has won just one set in their three grass matches, all of which were played at Wimbledon.
What does Murray himself say about his chances? He thinks he’s in similar form to years' past. “When Wimbledon comes around,” he said today, “it’s all about how you play. It’s easy to say someone is in good form when they’re not. A week is a long time in sport; anything can happen. But I’m in a good place, and I’ll just keep working hard the next week.”
• A pretty solid summary of Sunday at Queen's: Murray falls during the Queen's final, his groin joins Twitter, things get weird.
• Are we watching "The Golden Bryan Slam" unfold?
• Serena Williams is preparing for Wimbledon with a little R&R on a Miami beach.