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Eastern, Southwest Sectional Qualifying Tournaments conclude

April 22, 2011 01:40 PM
Petra Jurova won the women's title at the Eastern sectional qualifier.
Bea Bielik and Darrin Cohen won the mixed doubles title at the Eastern sectional qualifier.
The following is the first of periodic updates on the 2011 US Open National Playoffs recapping the Sectional Qualifying Tournaments that have concluded. The updates will include a list of the men, women, and mixed doubles team who advanced to the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships. For more information on each SQT, click on the links below.
Last week’s recap:
The first two US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournaments were completed this week in Flushing, N.Y. (USTA Eastern Section), and in Scottsdale, Ariz. (USTA Southwest Section). Links to the complete results are included below in the RESULTS area.
The US Open National Playoffs – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships will be held during the New Haven Open at Yale, an Olympus US Open Series women’s event, in August. The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions will receive a main draw wild card into the 2011 US Open. The US Open National Playoffs men’s and women’s singles champions again earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open.
Notable matches from the USTA Eastern Sectional Qualifying Tournament included six-time US Open champion Chris Evert and ESPN's Mike Greenberg, who came up short against USTA Eastern’s mixed doubles champions and local teaching pros Bea Bielik and Darrin Cohen. Bielik and Cohen defeated Evert and Greenberg 6-1, 6-4, in a second round match. Bielik was the 2002 NCAA singles champion (at Wake Forest University) and that year reached the third round of the US Open, losing to Justine Henin. Cohen is a former standout at the University of Virginia and is the Director of Tennis at Sportime in Kings Park, N.Y. In the mixed doubles final, Bielik and Cohen defeated women’s singles runner-up Magda Okruashvili and her partner, Tsimafey Senkevich, 6-2, 6-2.
In the women's singles final of the USTA Eastern tournament, 18-year-old Petra Jurova defeated 20-year-old Okruashvili, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. Jurova is a junior standout from Slovakia, who has trained in California for the past six months. She was invited to play in the US Open National Playoffs by last year’s USTA Eastern women’s singles runner-up and local teaching pro Nikola Hubnerova after she heard about Jurova’s game through a mutual friend. After connecting at the site of the US Open this week, Jurova and Hubnerova have decided to team up as coach and pupil until the conclusion of the US Open National Playoffs.
In the men’s singles final, 23-year-old Steve Erickson, of Emerson, N.J., defeated London native and former University of Tennessee standout David Baxendine 6-4, 6-2. Erickson graduated last year from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he played No. 1 singles. He also finished second in the New Jersey state tournament as a high school player. Baxendine is from Surrey, England, and came to the U.S. to play college tennis, where he met his wife. They currently reside in New Jersey. Prior to Tennessee, he competed for the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
In the USTA Southwest tournament, former Pepperdine standout and Los Angeles tennis coach Sylvia Kosakowski defeated Kellie Schmitt, a Phoenix tennis coach and a former college star at Marshall, 7-5, 7-5, in a two hour final. Kosakowski’s brother Daniel is a freshman at UCLA and reached the round of 16 at the 2010 US Open Junior Championships. In men’s singles, Bojan Temunovic, a Serbian who competes on the USTA Pro Circuit and is a former USTA Southwest junior standout, did not lose a set the entire tournament and defeated local junior Jason Jaruvang, 6-3, 6-2 in the final. Teenagers Sam Harrison and Nicole Melichar were the first mixed doubles team to advance to the US Open National Playoffs. Harrison is a London transplant who has been training in Phoenix, and Melichar is from Florida, but has been training at the Nick Blackwood Tennis Academy in Arizona. The duo had not played together very often prior to the tournament.
Next events:
The next US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be held by USTA New England in West Haven, Conn., May 18-22. Registration closes on Sunday, May 8.


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