Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sacramento-area team falls in U.S. Open mixed doubles

Sacramento-area wild cards Eric Roberson and Yasmin Schnack lost
to Slovakians Janette Husarova and Filip Polasek. Photo courtesy of USTA.
   Yasmin Schnack and Eric Roberson went down fighting.
   The wild cards from the Sacramento area lost to the far more accomplished Slovakian team of Janette Husarova and Filip Polasek 6-4, 7-6 (3) Friday in the first round of mixed doubles at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Schnack, a 25-year-old Elk Grove resident, and Roberson, 27, of Sacramento earned a spot in the draw by winning the U.S. Open National Playoffs in New Haven, Conn., last week.
   Schnack appeared in a Grand Slam adult tournament for the second time and Roberson for the first. Schnack and her best friend, Vania King, lost in the first round of women's doubles at Wimbledon last year to eighth-seeded Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
   King won the Wimbledon and U.S. Open women's doubles titles in 2010 with Yaroslava Shvedova.
   Schnack helped UCLA win the NCAA team title in 2008, graduated in sociology in 2010 and reached a career-high No. 140 in the world in women's doubles in June 2012. However, she retired last September and plans to begin nursing school in the fall. Her father, William, is a retired physician.
   Roberson earned all-conference honors at Boise State (2004-08).
   Husarova, 39, reached the women's doubles final of the 2002 U.S. Open with Elena Dementieva of Russia and climbed to a career-high No. 3 in that category in 2003.
   Polasek, 28, has been ranked as high as No. 20 in men's doubles (January 2012). He advanced to the men's doubles quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Open with Julian Knowle of Austria.
   Meanwhile, top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan coasted past Eric Butorac and Frederik Nielsen 6-3, 6-2 Friday in the second round of men's doubles at the U.S. Open.
   The 35-year-old Bryan twins, who starred at Stanford, are trying to become the second team in history to win a calendar-year Grand Slam. Australians Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman accomplished the feat 62 years ago.
   Three of the four players in Friday's match have won Wimbledon men's doubles titles. The Bryans triumphed in 2006, 2011 and this year. Nielsen, a 30-year-old Dane, and Jonathan Marray of Great Britain last year became the first wild cards to take the crown. Nielsen's grandfather Kurt was the Wimbledon singles runner-up in 1953 and 1955.
   Butorac, a 32-year-old left-hander from Rochester, Minn., won the men's doubles title in the 2007 SAP Open in San Jose with Jamie Murray, Andy's older brother, and played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2008.     

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