By Erin Bruehl
Lindsay Graff and Matija Pecotic.
The US Open National Playoffs Mixed Doubles Championship kicked off in New Haven Wednesday. The tournament will advance through the weekend without the defending champions.
A pair of mixed doubles veterans, Yasmin Schnack and Eric Roberson, who reached the National Playoffs mixed doubles final in 2011, upset defending champions Nicole Melichar and Brian Battistone in a super tiebreak, 6-3, 3-6, [10-6]. Earlier this week Melichar reached the final of the US Open National Playoffs Women’s Championship, losing to Mayo Hibi.
Also fresh off competing in the Men’s and Women’s Championships, former Princeton University teammates Lindsay Graff and Matija Pecotic teamed up for mixed doubles and started in winning fashion, defeating a pair of fellow collegian stars, Kelcy McKenna and Stephen Robertson, 6-2, 6-3. In the singles competition, Pecotic reached the men’s final before falling to champion Jeff Dadamo and Graff advanced to the women’s semifinals.
Also Wednesday, Tarakaa Bertrand and Sam Sweeney, the USTA Eastern champions, defeated former world No. 163 Jesse Witten and his sister Sarah Witten, 6-4, 7-6 (1); Matt Brooklyn and Stephanie Wetmore defeated Victoria Lozano and Patrick Smith, 6-4, 6-4; and John Mee and Karina Traxler beat Wil Lofgren and Sandy Niehaus, 7-5, 6-2.
The US Open National Playoffs Mixed Doubles Championship is taking place Aug. 21-24 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Conn., in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event. The winners receive a wild card into the 2013 US Open mixed doubles draw.
Mixed Doubles Championship - First Round
Lindsay Graff (USA) / Matija Pecotic (CRO) d. Kelcy McKenna (USA) / Stephen Robertson (USA), 6-2, 6-3
Tarakaa Bertrand (USA) / Sam Sweeney (USA) d. Jesse Witten (USA) / Sarah Witten (USA), 6-4, 7-6(1)
Matt Brooklyn (GBR) / Stephanie Wetmore (CAN) d. Victoria Lozano (MEX) / Patrick Smith (NZL), 6-4, 6-4
John Mee (USA) / Karina Traxler (USA) d. Wil Lofgren (USA) / Sandy Niehaus (USA), 7-5, 6-2
Eric Roberson (USA) / Yasmin Schnack (USA) d. Brian Battistone (USA) / Nicole Melichar (USA), 6-3, 3-6, [10-6]