Veronica Corning and Lindsay Graff have been on opposites sides of the net for important matches in recent years.
In 2012, Graff and partner, Matia Pecotic, beat Corning and her partner, Nikola Stefanovic, in the mixed doubles final of the US Open National Playoffs Middle States Qualifying Tournament. The following year, Corning got a rematch. Again, they met in the mixed doubles final of the same tournament. Again, Graff’s team won.
Instead of spurring a rivalry, it spurred a partnership.
When trophies were presented after the 2013 match at New Jersey’s Mercer County Park, Corning and Graff learned that they were both playing in the same tournament in Evansville, Ind. over the summer. That’s when Corning got the idea to become a team, rather than continue on as opponents.
“We already had a great feel for each other’s style of play,” Corning said. “Sometimes playing well with a doubles partner takes time because you don’t really understand their game. But we knew what to expect.”
The duo was successful in Evansville, winning their first two matches before falling to the eventual finalists. Corning and Graff decided to try their luck again later in the summer on the USTA Pro Circuit at the Koser $25,000 Tennis Challenge. There, they won their first match before losing to the top seeded team.
Off the court, Corning and Graff have developed a close friendship. Between tournaments, Graff flew to Chicago to spend a couple days with Corning to train and to get to know one another even better.