The US Open National Playoffs Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles Championship will be held August 18-21. The men’s and women’s singles champions will receive a wild card into the qualifying draw of the US Open. “We again expect the top junior players, collegians, teaching professionals, ‘weekend warriors’ and other recreational players to come out in large numbers to compete this year in singles and now mixed doubles,” said Jim Curley, Chief Professional Tournaments Officer and US Open Tournament Director. “The New Haven Open at Yale will be a great host for the championships and the winners will be close to New York for the US Open.”Yes, and Scoop and me will personally be there welcoming you and watching Vasilisa Bardin, a former Top 50 player being coached by former Top 100 player and Tennis-Prose.com friend, Jeff Salzenstein. Bardin's story is very interesting. She was No. 48 at age 18, but wanting to escape her domineering father's clutches, she defected to the U.S. during a tournament here. She lost her mojo, but recently while teaching tennis in Denver, she was introduced to Salzenstein, and the two have teamed up with the mission of steering Bardin back into the Top 50.Salzenstein, a real battler during his 12-year pro career, says that Bardin has been beating Alexa Glatch in practice sets in Denver. Glatch recently played Andrea Petkovic in Carlsbad, CA. and lost 3 and 4. Salzy says that Bardina, even though she is match scant and was involved in a car accident this summer that has limited her training time, is like Pete Sampras. She just knows how to win. So come on out and watch Bardin in action, meet Salzenstein, Scoop and me. If you bring your sticks, maybe we can find a court and hit a few balls. I'll be back later with when Bardin's matches will be on Thurs and Fri in New Haven. Scoop will bring copies of his new book about Marcelo Rios and I will bring copies of "Break Point" with me so if you want to buy signed copies, that'll be great. If you beat Scoop in a tie-breaker, Scoop will personally allow you to wear his fedora.Click here to see Bardina v. Clijsters at Aussie Open 2007http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bardina+v.+clijsters&aq=fWe know it's during the week, but play hookey and let us know if you're coming and we'll meet at Salzenstein and Bardin's first match in the US Open National Playoffs.