The US Open doubles draws have been announced, and they feature some of the most celebrated collegiate stars in recent Southern California history. Both USC and UCLA are well represented in Flushing Meadows, including a Trojan looking to repeat as US Open champion.
USC’s Robert Farah, a three-time All American from 2007-2010, is the No. 1 ranked doubles player in the world. He is the reigning champion in New York (as well as Wimbledon) with teammate Juan Sebastian Cabal, looking to become the first champions to defend the title at the Open since Australia’s Woodbridge/Woodforde in the mid-1990s.
Former NCAA doubles champions Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria will also bring the Trojan fight to the Big Apple this week. Christian (Orange, Calif.) has reached a tour final in each of the past three years, but still looks to break through with a tournament title. She and teammate Giuliana Olmos will hope for a monumental upset in the first round when they meet top seeded Mladenovic/Babos. Santamaria (Los Angeles) and Arina Rodionova will face a similar challenge at the foot of the draw when they meet #2 seeds Mertens/Sabalenka in the opening round.
Mountain View native Ena Shibahara left UCLA to turn pro and has become a force on the WTA doubles circuit. Shibahara has won three WTA titles in the last 18 months, reaching two other finals along with two Challenger Series titles. In 2016 she won the Junior US Open doubles crown with Bruin teammate Jada Hart, and this year enters the main draw alongside Shuko Aoyama as the #6 seeded team in the draw.
Asia Muhammad (Long Beach) has also become a familiar face in pro doubles competition. The 29-year old veteran picked up a singles title in Australia early this year and followed it up with a doubles crown at the Indian Wells Oracle Challenger in March. She plays this week with Taylor Townsend, and they also draw a tough opening match against the #5 seed Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Shuai Zhang.
Also on the doubles schedule this week, Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina) is in action with Noah Rubin while former UCLA champion Mackenzie McDonald pairs with Chris Eubanks. On the women’s side, Palm Desert’s Desirae Krawczyk pairs with Alexa Guarachi.