(November 28, 2012) --
Mardy’s Missing: There will be no swimming (or tennis playing) Down Under for American Mardy Fish, who announced Wednesday that he would skip the Australian Open altogether and start his 2013 season at the SAP Open in February. Fish has continued to recover from health issues related to heart surgery, which set him out for a chunk of the 2012 season. “The good news is that Mardy's health is improving and he is back on the court slowing getting back into his regular workouts,” agent John Tobias told Reuters in an email. Fish has fallen from No. 8 in the rankings to No. 27, and hasn’t played since withdrawing from the US Open.
Shenzhen on the Mind: The lead up to the Australian Open just got a dash more of “Asian” in its Asian Pacific brand. The WTA officially announced the Shenzhen Gemdale Open Wednesday, the tournament to be held the very first week of the season in Shenzhen, China, with Li Na and Marion Bartoli offering a pretty powerful headlining duo. The $500,000 tournament will have a stadium court with 4,000 seats (not shabby) and also has commitments from Jelena Jankovic, Laura Robson, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai.
All-White, but New-Aged: The inaugural Miami Tennis Cup, an exhibition is taking place at Crandon Park Nov. 30-Dec. 2, is giving “tennis whites” a new definition with a white playing surface. The court will have red lines and a blue outer layer (“Oh-oh say can you see!”). More importantly, how great is this all-star line-up: Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, John Isner, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nicolas Almagro and Alejandro Falla are all set to compete.
The Good Ones All Gone? Sorry, ladies (and some of you fellas). ATP heartthrob Matt Ebden +ied the knot Nov. 16 in his native Australia, marrying lawyer Kim Doig. Ebden, 25, joined Mike Bryan, James Blake and Rohan Bopanna in the newlywed category. American Ryan Harrison, Ebden’s sometimes doubles partner, was a groomsman in the ceremony. Word on the street is that Ryan’s still available though, you hopeless romantics! Plus: Photos of Byran’s Wedding
Itty bits: Asked by Sports Illustrated to pick his sportsman of the year, Charles Barkley goes with Andy Murray. OK, Sir Charles, we feel ya. | Is this the newest installment of the tennis soap opera The Young and the Tauziats??? Nathalie Tauziat, the former French player who has a penchant for speaking her mind, told the French Tennis Federation she would not resign after the organization asked her to step down because she testified in favor of junior coach Regis de Camaret, who was convicted of raping two girls, ages 12 and 13. Money quote: “I did not know that testifying in court was a crime...If Regis is guilty, he must pay. But no one should give me lessons.” | Vera Dushevina is a painter, did you know? The Russian recently put her work on display at a showing in Moscow. The WTA has the pics. Move over, Marion Bartoli! | Recently retired Juan Carlos Ferrero will continue to buzz around the pro tour, joining Nicolas Almagro on a part-time basis as his fellow Spaniard’s coach. | Sergei Bubka stands! After falling from a second-story window in Paris earlier this month the ATP player is on his feet again following surgery. Wow. | Adidas’ early-season looks for Murray, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic? They’re here. | Taylor Townsend leads the girls’ field at the Orange Bowl, set to start Dec. 3 in Plantation, Fla. Noah Rubin heads the American boys’ effort. | Doubles specialist Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi has released his book, Stop War, Start Tennis!, as an e-book on Amazon. | Must watch: Roger Federer becomes a superstar (imaginatively) in Brazil prior to his Dec. 6-8 Gillette exhibition in Sao Paulo: