The US Open National Playoffs – Mixed Doubles Championship concluded on Saturday at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., with former college stars Jacqueline Cako and Joel Kielbowicz claiming the title, 6-3, 6-1, over the sibling duo of Ena and Shuhei Shibahara. With the victory, the former college stars secure a wild card into the main draw of the mixed doubles event at the 2014 US Open.
Cako and Kielbowicz encountered few problems on the Grandstand court against their younger opponents. Winning 79 percent of points when they got their first serves in, they broke the Shibaharas four times and saved the lone break point they faced. A final volley winner from Kielbowicz wrapped up the match.
The appearance at the US Open will mark Kielbowicz’s Grand Slam debut and Cako’s first showing as a professional. She previously played the US Open girls’ singles event in 2009, when she reached the second round.
Cako, 22, is a former All-American at Arizona State. She has been a standout on the USTA Pro Circuit, winning four Pro Circuit doubles in 2012 and climbing to No. 169 in the doubles rankings that year.
Kielbowicz, 31, played collegiately for four years at UNLV before going on to a professional career. He peaked at No. 479 in the world doubles rankings in 2007 and has won seven Futures doubles titles.
The US Open is being held Aug. 25 to Sept. 8 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.