Daily Bagel: Managing back injury is key for aging Roger Federer
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: A recap of hot shots from the Rogers Cup in Montreal, where Rafael Nadal extended his hard-court winning streak to 11 matches.
• From The Changeover, a great interview with ESPN commentator and Adidas coach Darren Cahill. His thoughts on Roger Federer:
He has to find a way at his age now to at least level that out, make that back issue plateau to the point where it doesn’t get any worse, or find a way that he can overcome that. Because with the way the game’s improving, the way these players are playing, Nadal, [Novak] Djokovic, [Andy] Murray, these guys are improving. They’re not stagnating.
So for Roger to constantly have to take that time off, you feel like you’re slipping behind. Not only are you not playing great at the moment, but you can’t put in the work in the offseason or those weeks off to improve as a tennis player. We all need that in competitive situation. Unless you’ve put that work in on the practice court, then you can’t walk onto the court and feel like you’re going to get it done against these best players in the world.
That’s sort of where Roger is at the moment. The last two years, you feel like he’s been climbing up the wall, then slipping a little bit because of the back, then climbing back up, and slipping a little bit, while the other guys are just shooting straight up the wall.
The back is the main issue. I think the racquet is a great adjustment that needs time. He’s been using the same technology now for 15 or so years. I think it’s absolutely worthwhile to try. But more importantly, he needs to be healthy.
• This is too good: John Isner's grandfather and his buddies plastered John's nude photo from ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue onto T-shirts:
• Great story from The New York Times: Kennan Johnson took time during the National Junior Girls Championship in San Diego to give to the homeless.
Johnson, a 17-year-old from Baton Rouge, La., took several bags of leftover Mexican food and drove with her mother, Natalie Johnson, 39, and grandmother, Lynda Johnson, 68, to a nearby park, where they found two homeless men.
“We just stopped by,” said Kennan Johnson.
Asked if he wanted a burrito, one man eagerly accepted, Johnson said.
“He was smoking a cigarette, so he put his cigarette down, and we gave him like, four or five burritos, because these are grown men, and you don’t give them just one burrito.”
The Johnsons said they fed a third homeless man near their hotel about two miles away in Mission Valley.
“Guys sit on the side of the road,” Kennan Johnson said. “You can tell by the way they look and their appearance that they can probably use it.”
Tournament officials said they were impressed by Johnson’s willingness to help others at a time of great competitive pressure.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Ehlers said. “This is the toughest tournament in the United States.” The oldest girls “are all being watched by coaches, there’s just a ton of college coaches, a ton of competition,” she said. “The winner gets an automatic place into the U.S. Open main draw.”
• Mardy Fish threw out the first pitch at a Cincinnati Reds game.
• Israel has been fined for refusing to play a Davis Cup match on Yom Kippur.