Saturday, 5 September 2009

Spotlight On ... Melanie Oudin

It's been a while since American women's tennis had much to shout about at the Grand Slams outside of the Williams sisters, but 17-year-old Melanie Oudin has been doing a good job of flying the flag for the US this year. She booked her place in the fourth round of Wimbledon after beating Jelena Jankovic in three sets for her first ever win over a top 10 player. Although her good run ended today at the hands of Agnieszka Radwanska, the qualifier made a bit of a name for herself during the fortnight.

She was ranked # 124 going into the tournament (just one place below her then career-high). Although she has played in the main draw of Grand Slams in the past, this was by far her best result. Proving that it wasn't a one-off, she has risen to the occasion again during the US Open. She surpassed her Wimbledon result by reaching thequarter-finals with wins over Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova to add to her list of scalps. Coming into the US Open, she was ranked # 70 (three spots below her career high ranking of #67 achieved in August), but that looks set to rise significantly. Her quarter-final match against Caroline Wozniacki was probably a match too far given her exploits in coming from a set down to beat higher ranked opponents earlier in the tournament. Nevertheless, America has found a new sweetheart in Melanie.

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