The magical run of Merrick, N.Y.’s Scott Lipsky and his mixed-doubles partner, Australian Casey Dellacqua, has finally come to a happy ending at Roland Garros, as the duo captured the 2011 French Open Mixed-Doubles Championship. The unseeded Lipsky & Dellacqua defeated the defending French Open champions and number one seeds, Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia & Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 10-7 for their first ever Grand Slam title. Lipsky & Dellacqua advanced to the finals with a 7-6(5), 2-6, 14-12 semifinal win over Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil & Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia.
Lipsky’s French Open title comes just weeks after he teamed with Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez, playing together for the first time, and upsetting world number ones, Bob & Mike Bryan, to win the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell Doubles Championship, 5-7, 6-2, 12-10. En route to their Barcelona Open championship, Lipsky & Gonzalez knocked off the number three seeds Jurgen Melzer & Nenad Zimonjic, and the number two seeds, Max Mirnyi & Daniel Nestor.
Looking back now at the champions for this year’s French Open, you’ll see the name Scott Lipsky amongst players like Rafael Nadal and Na Li. For Scott, this run has been something he’s never experienced before. The best result Lipsky has ever had in a Grand Slam doubles draw was the third round at the 2007 Wimbledon Championships in men’s doubles and the third round in the 2008 Wimbledon Championships in mixed-doubles. Now, Scott can call himself a Grand Slam champion.
Who is Scott Lipsky exactly? Some have only heard of him since he lived and played on Long Island. Well yes, but there’s more to it than that. Scott attended and played tennis at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, N.Y. It was there that Scott became the first player to win the New York State Tennis Championship from JFK High School. From there, Scott took his talents to California where he had been recruited to play at Stanford University. After graduating with a successful career at Stanford, he turned pro and started playing on the Futures Circuit and then the Challengers. Alan Fleischman, a teacher at JFK High School and coach of the boy’s tennis team during Scott’s playing days at Kennedy was simply overjoyed after hearing what Scott had accomplished over in Paris.
“Everyone dreams of hitting the game winning homer, scoring in the Stanley Cup finals, throwing the Hail Mary pass that wins the football game. Scott will never have to dream of that moment … he has already experienced it,” said Fleischman. “It could not have happened to a more worthy team than Scott and Casey.”
Gail Lipsky, Scott’s mother has always backed her son during his tennis career. From junior tennis, all the way through his path to the pros, she has been there in support of her son.
“We are all so incredibly proud of Scott,” said Gail. “We really appreciate all of the support he has gotten from friends and family. It’s really touching to see how many people have apparently followed his career over the years and reached out to let us know how happy they are for him.”
For Scott, this dream run has truly been the highlight of his professional tennis career. As he lets his recent success sink in, Lipsky looks to keep the momentum going as he sets out for more titles in 2011.
“I think it is something that all tennis players dream of,” said Scott. “The chance to play on the center court in a Grand Slam final with the chance to become a Grand Slam champion. It was a great honor for me to win the mixed-doubles title with Casey in Paris, and it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life. We went on the court both having never hit a ball there. We told ourselves that we should enjoy the experience and just play our games and not worry about the situation. In the end, I think we did that and came out as the winners.”
Co-champion and Lipsky’s partner Dellacqua tweeted after the big win, “Still buzzing with excitement after winning my first Grand Slam title with Scott yesterday at Roland Garros :) Yewwww!!”
Lipsky’s partner in men’s doubles, Rajeev Ram of the United States, whom Scott has played with now for the past several tournaments also tweeted, “How about my partner Scott Lipsky taking the French mixed title? Anyone ever won a Challenger, a 250, a 500 and a Slam all in one year?”
Scott will now surely look to keep the momentum flowing, as he closes out the back half of the 2011 season. It will be nice to get an up-close look at his progress as late August nears and he returns home to New York and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the 2011 U.S. Open.
<p>David Drucker is an intern with Long Island Tennis Magazine and is a member of the Nichols College Men's Tennis team. </p>