FLUSHING, N.Y.—Former Sun Devil tennis player Jacqueline Cako, 22, of Brier, Wash., and her mixed doubles partner Joel Kielbowicz, won their way into the US Open Mixed Doubles Tournament after winning the 2014 US Open National Playoffs. The US Open Tennis Championships run August 27-September 5 in Flushing, N.Y.
Cako, who graduated in three years the Barrett Honors College in bioscience in May of 2013, was a four-time first-team NCAA All-American at Arizona State. In her final year at ASU before turning professional, Cako upset the top-seed in the NCAA singles championship and, with partner Nikki Smith, advanced the NCAA doubles semifinals. She was also named the 2013 Pac-12 Senior Scholar Athlete by the conference.
Cako has thrived in doubles on the USTA Pro Circuit, winning six titles and peaking at No. 169 in the world in doubles last September. In 2013, Cako and fellow American Natalie Pluskota reached the doubles quarterfinals at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Stanford, Calif.
The US Open National Playoffs were held August 20-23, in New Haven, Conn. Last night, Cako and Kielbowicz defeated the brother-sister duo of Ena and Shuhei Shibahara, 6-3, 6-1, in the Playoffs final. Cako and Kielbowicz won the mixed doubles title at the USTA Southwest Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz., in May to advance to the US Open National Playoffs.
The 2014 US Open Mixed Doubles Tournament will be held August 27-September 5, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., at the home of the US Open. The mixed doubles draw will be posted on www.USOpen.org tomorrow.
Both Cako and Kielbowicz are making their debuts in a US Open main draw. Cako competed in the US Open juniors in 2008 and 2009. Cako and Kielbowicz met at a tournament in Arizona earlier this year and were playing together for the first time.
More than 1,450 combined men and women competed in the fifth year of the US Open National Playoffs in singles and mixed doubles, playing in one of 13 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments held nationwide. 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 14 and over with the passion to compete, regardless of playing ability or nationality.