From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 25, 2012 â€“ The USTA announced today that Brian Battistone and Nicole Melichar won the 2012 US Open National Playoffs â€“ Mixed Doubles Championship to earn a wild card into the 2012 US Open Mixed Doubles Tournament. The Playoffs were held August 19-22, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Conn., in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, the final Emirates Airline US Open Series womenâ€™s event of the summer.
Battistone, 33, of Las Vegas, is a five-time USTA Pro Circuit doubles champion. He uses a double-handled racquet that allows him to hit forehands off both wings and employs a volleyball-style jump serve clocked at 139 mph. Battistone peaked at No. 88 in the world doubles rankings in November 2010. Melichar, 19, of Stuart, Fla., broke into the Top 400 in the world doubles rankings earlier this year. She has won two singles titles and a doubles crown on the 2012 ITF Circuit.
As the No. 2 seeds, Battistone and Melichar defeated No. 1 seeds Hilary Barte, a 2011 NCAA doubles champion, and current world No. 557 Nicolas Meister, 6-4, 6-3, to capture the mixed doubles title today. Melichar and Battistone did not lose one set throughout the US Open National Playoffs in New Haven.
The entry deadline for the US Open mixed doubles is Monday, August 27. The 2012 US Open Mixed Doubles Tournament will be held August 29-September 6, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., the home of the US Open.
Last year, former Top 100 doubles players Christina Fusano and David Martin won the inaugural US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles title. The pair fell in the opening round of the US Open mixed doubles event, 6-2, 7-5, to four-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion Daniela Hantuchova and four-time Grand Slam doubles champion Mark Knowles.
More than 1,200 combined men and women competed in the third year of the US Open National Playoffs in singles and mixed doubles, playing in one of 13 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments held throughout the United States.Â The US Open National Playoffs are designed to bring the spirit of the US Open to cities and sections across the country, making the US Open eligible to anyone and everyone 14 and over with the passion to compete, regardless of playing ability or nationality.