Daily Bagel: Best points from Tour Finals
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Best points from the ATP World Tour Finals.
• Peter Bodo offers his thoughts on Novak Djokovic's Tour Finals title and spectacular fall run.
It isn’t supposed to end this way. The World Tour Finals was conceived to finish things, settle arguments, determine a crystal-clear pecking order dictated by a big computer humming away in some climate-controlled basement. It’s designed to produce finality. The World Tour Finals is, at least in theory, a loose-ends tyer-upper.
But the only loose ends tied up in London were the stray hairs perpetually escaping the headband of David Ferrer, who never made it out of the round-robin stage.
Instead of “game over” for another year, the resonant message in Novak Djokovic’s 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Rafael Nadal was “Game on!” As many answers as the match posed about 2013, it planted that many questions for 2014. It’s as if the spell that some evil sorceress (perhaps named Xisca?) had cast over Djokovic shortly after his wildly successful 2011 campaign was suddenly broken in early September, after Nadal hammered his Serbian rival into submission on a hard court at the U.S. Open.
• Djokovic has already pinpointed his "highest priority" for 2014.
• David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco discuss their upset of Bob and Mike Bryan in the doubles final of the World Tour Finals.
• Doug Robson of USA Today lists some lessons learned from the 2013 season, including the plight of the ATP's next generation.
Nadal, Djokovic and Murray captured all four Grand Slam and every Masters 1,000 tournament in 2013, leaving only scraps for the rest of the tour. Throw in Federer, and that foursome has captured 34 of the past 35 majors.
A group of promising under-23-year-olds made inroads, among the 11th-ranked, Milos Raonic of Canada, Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz of Poland and free-flowing Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who won his first title at Stockholm.
Others – notably Australia's Bernard Tomic and the USA's Ryan Harrison -- seemed to backslide.
For the most part, the next generation remains a distant threat to the game's established regime.
• Juan José Vallejo of The Changeover has a modest proposal to improve the challenge system.
• Andy Murray is set for a training block in Miami.