Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fusano earns U.S. Open mixed doubles berth

   Christina Fusano is on her way to the U.S. Open.
   The Sacramento native teamed with David Martin of Tulsa, Okla., to beat Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove and Eric Roberson of Sacramento 2-6, 6-1, 10-5 tiebreak Saturday in the U.S. Open National Playoffs mixed doubles final at New Haven, Conn.
   The victory gave Fusano and Martin a wild card into the mixed doubles main draw of the U.S. Open. The year's final Grand Slam tournament is scheduled to begin Monday, with mixed doubles starting Wednesday.
   Fusano and Martin, who emerged from a field of almost 200 teams in the inaugural U.S. Open National Playoffs in mixed doubles, have several similarities.
   Both are 30. Both are former All-Americans at Bay Area colleges, Fusano at Cal and Martin at Stanford. Both have starred in doubles on the USTA Pro Circuit, Martin winning 20 titles and Fusano 11.
   And both reached their career-high world rankings in doubles in 2008, Martin at No. 38 and Fusano at No. 84. Currently, Martin is No. 103 and Fusano No. 174.
   However, Fusano is right-handed and Martin left-handed, which only adds to their effectiveness as a doubles team.
   Martin has competed in men's doubles in all Grand Slam tournaments, reaching the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2007 as a qualifier with former Stanford teammate Scott Lipsky, but never in mixed doubles. Fusano has played women's doubles in two Grand Slam tournaments, losing in the first round of the U.S. Open in 2003 and 2008.
   Fusano and Schnack, meanwhile, are part-time doubles partners on the USTA Pro Circuit. They won the $25,000 USTA Challenger of Redding last September in Schnack's professional debut.

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