Daily Bagel: Roger Federer warms up with Rod Laver in Rod Laver Arena

Wednesday January 8th, 2014


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

 Video: Roger Federer and Rod Laver played for the first time at Roger Federer's fundraiser Wednesday in Australia. Laver's footwork is incredibly impressive for a 75-year-old.

• Overnight roundup: In Sydney, Petra Kvitova and Madison Keys reached the semifinals. Bethanie Mattek-Sands retired against Keys trailing 3-2 in the first set with a lower-back injury. ... At the Heineken Open, American wild-card entry Jack Sock upset No. 2 seed Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-4. Top seed David Ferrer and third-seeded John Isner also advanced to the quarterfinals. ... At the Hobart International, Sam Stosur rallied to reach the second round, while defending champion Elena Vesnina retired from her second-round match against Estrella Cabeza Candela with a back injury.

• In exhibition play, Tomas Berdych sailed past Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-2, while Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Gilles Simon 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

• A good read from Douglas Robson: As the 2014 season kicks off, the expectations for U.S. tennis, aside from Serena Williams of course, remain questionable.

The longest Grand Slam title dry spell -- now-retired Andy Roddick was the last U.S. male major winner at the 2003 U.S. Open -- drags on.

On the women's side, Serena Williams, 32, and Venus Williams, 33, remain the only U.S.-born Grand Slam winners in more than a decade. The sisters were groomed outside the USTA system.

But there are signs of progress: There were 11 American women in the top 100 in 2013, the most of any country. Many of the rising talents, such as Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Jamie Hampton, and most of the other under-23 women such as Christina McHale and 2009 U.S. Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin, have received on-and-off coaching and assistance from the USTA.

How much responsibility the player development program bears for the state of American tennis continues to roil the sport's community.

 The U.S. men have been doing well at the start of the season, so enjoy it while it lasts.

 In his mailbag, Jon Wertheim discusses the trend of top players hiring big-name coaches.

 A new multimedia venture from our friends at Tennis.com: The first issue of Tennis Tuesday, a free digital weekly magazine.

Hell has literally frozen over
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