For Melanie Oudin, Patience Pays Off
Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
June 18, 2012–Marietta, Georgia’s Melanie Oudin seemingly came out of nowhere to reach the 2009 US Open Quarterfinals. The press ate up her story and elevated her to ‘next big thing’ status. Many of us were certain that she would have won several singles titles and possibly a Grand Slam by now.
Three long years have passed. Though she did win a US Open Mixed Doubles title with Jack Sock last year, a young player who debuts at a Singles Quarterfinals at a Grand Slam will be judged by her singles performance. Last year, it started to get ugly. Those who once cheered her on started to deride her. So-called fans on Facebook and Twitter even called attention to her physique every time they thought she’d gained a pound or two. In fact, the comment section of the 2011 Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs Facebook live stream had to be cut off by the USTA because of such visceral nonsense. Her career high #31 singles ranking seemed like a distant memory as late as last week, when she was at #269.
Patience finally paid off for Oudin, who’s consistently playing her best tennis yet. Today, she beat world #22, Jelena Jankovic, 6-4, 6-2, to claim her first WTA singles title in Birmingham, England.
This win required lots of patience, and Melanie is obviously not in short supply. Her scheduled quarterfinal match against compatriot Irina Falconi was scheduled for Friday, but due to rain, was played over the course of Saturday and Sunday. She also had to immediately play a semifinal on Sunday.
Wild Card entrant Oudin is dangerous going into Wimbledon. She’s been called that before. Now, she’s a grass titlist in a Wimbledon warm-up, a fact that bolsters the opinion that she is more dangerous than ever to a first round opponent at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club next week.