14-year-old Michaela Gordon is the youngest sectional qualifier winner so far this year in the US Open National Playoffs.
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By McCarton Ackerman, USOpen.org
Teenagers David Hsu and Michaela Gordon weathered difficult championship matches to take the singles titles at the Northern California sectional qualifier of the US Open National Playoffs, held June 18-22 in Salinas, Calif. The brother-sister duo of Eni and Shuhei Shibahara prevailed in the mixed doubles event.
Hsu, 18, from San Jose, Calif., rallied from behind in both sets to defeat Josh Pompano of Salinas, 6-4, 6-3. Hsu, who plans to play for Stanford University in the fall, trailed 1-3 in the second set before storming through the final five games of the match.
Gordon, 14, from Saratoga, Calif., pulled out an upset win over two-time Northern California sectional qualifying champion Giuliana Olmos, from Fremont, Calif., 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Gordon, currently No. 79 in the ITF junior rankings, is scheduled to compete next week in the junior events at Wimbledon.
Ena, 16, and Shuhei, 20, from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., encountered few problems in the mixed doubles draw. They dropped only 13 games on their way to the title, winning the final over JT Nishimura of San Jose, Calif., and Alex Poorta of Moraga, Calif., 6-4, 6-3. Ena regularly competes in national junior tournaments across the country, while Shuhei is a rising junior at UC-Irvine.
The winners or top available finishers from each of the 13 sectional qualifying tournaments held throughout the spring and summer advance to the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships, to be held during the Connecticut Open, an Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s event, in August.
The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a main draw wild card into the 2014 US Open, while the men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament held the week prior to the US Open.