Former Top 50 player Vasilisa Bardina led four players into the US Open National Playoffs Championships with victories at the US Open National Playoffs Intermountain Sectional Qualifying Tournament held at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver. Also advancing were men’s champion Angelo Faustino and mixed doubles champions Miikka Keronen and Yana Ruegsegger.
The 2011 US Open National Playoffs – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships will be held in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale, an Olympus US Open Series event, in August. The winners of the men’s championship and the women’s championship—which feature the winners or top available finishers from the 16 sectional qualifying tournaments being held throughout the country—advance to the US Open Qualifying Tournament, while the winners of the mixed doubles championship earn a main draw wild card into the 2011 US Open mixed doubles event.
Bardina, 23, did not drop a set in winning the tournament, defeating Meagan Monaghan, 6-2, 6-3, in the final. Bardina, originally from Moscow, Russia, has been in the United States for one year and works at Evergreen Sports Center in Evergreen, Colo. She peaked at No. 48 in the world in 2007 and has played in all four Grand Slam events in singles and three of the four—all but Wimbledon—in doubles, reaching the second round in doubles at the Australian Open and French Open in 2007.
Faustino, 22, won the men’s title with a grueling victory over Damon Gillette, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. The Littleton, Colo., resident played tennis for Metro State College of Denver, where he and his team won their conference and regionals, and also competed at nationals.
In the mixed doubles, Keronen and Ruegsegger defeated Dayson and Carni Mathison in the final, 6-0, 6-3. Keronen, a former coach at the Finnish National Sports Institute, is the director of tennis at the Ranch Country Club in Westminster, Colo., a suburb of Denver. Ruegsegger, meanwhile, is a frequent competitor in USTA Intermountain events.