I talked yesterday about the lack of consistency on the WTA tour as opposed to the ATP- all top sixteen men are through to the round of thirty two for the first time in history, whereas eleven of the top twenty women have fallen. Generally, you'd take le tour de bloke any day, given as good opponents = good matches and whatnot, but you know what? There is an upside to this whole WTA scattiness.
It leaves the door open for a fairy tale.
And that's exactly what has happened to Melanie Oudin.
I just realised I sounded like I was suggesting that the fact that the top girls are playing crap has sort of made her win by default, which is not what I mean at all, just to clarify. What she has done is analogous to what Casey Dellacqua did at the Aussie Open in 2008 - knocking off some top players by playing some completely great, out of the blue stuff. And that's what the WTA is allowing room for at the moment - someone to come out of the blue.
This is the second Slam in a row where Oudin has fought her way to the big W against top ten moments. Her Slam scalps now include Jankovic, Dementieva and Sharapova - and can I just say I am very sad to see MaSha go. I was kind of pulling for her to go deep - but how can you resist a fairy tale like Oudin? Hometown girl with a lot of fire... she's such a great story and I think she proves that if she can keep this up, the future of American tennis is in same hands.
One result of hers that hasn't been much talked about is her first round, where she totally demolished Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - I think it was 6-2 6-1 or something similar. Readers of this blog will know that I think very highly of Pavlyuchenkova. She's very young as well - eighteen, I think - and has about 237048948239 junior Slams under her belt. I think she's going to be very, very good in a few years.
And Oudin, who is her generation, effectively, totally destroyed her. The victories over the top seeds are sending a message to the current field, but I feel like the one over Pavlyuchenkova sent one to the future. Oudin is here, she's here to stay - and she's got her eyes on the top prize. And as no one else seems to want it that much... how about Mel?
US Open (Flushing Meadows)
Roger Federer def. Lleyton Hewitt, 4-6 6-3 7-5 6-3
Novak Djokovic def. Jesse Witten, 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-4
Radek Stepanek def. Philipp Kohlschreiber, 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-3
Nikolay Davydenko def. Marco Chiudinelli, 6-4 7-5 7-5
Robin Soderling def. Sam Querrey, 6-2 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-1
Melanie Oudin def. Maria Sharapova, 3-6 6-4 7-5
Nadia Petrova def. Jie Zheng, 6-4 6-1
Gisela Dulko def. Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3 6-4
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago