Tennis-X Reader Mail: Melanie Oudin
by Staff | September 9th, 2009, 10:43 am

Dear Tennis-X,

You need to write a story about the fact that the women’s game is in such disarray that Melanie Oudin, a 17-year-old kid, is able to beat just about everyone she faces — without any dominant strokes — by simply not collapsing and allowing every other ranked female to self-destruct as they struggle to battle their emotional demons.
Whether it happens to be an overwhelming fear of approaching the net, the inability to toss the ball up and serve it into that scary box on the other side of the net or the sudden, overwhelming desire to lose composure and hit every forehand at least 10 feet long. Amazing. They should have a psychiatrist and a grief counselor on-hand for the changeovers.

Rick J., Newburgh, Indiana, USA

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17 Comments for Tennis-X Reader Mail: Melanie Oudin

Daniel2 Says:

Don’t forget Kim C., out for I don’t know how long and already in the semis of her first grand slam since the comeback. I know many people don’t want to talk about the “weakness” of the WTA, but it’s sadly true.

thetennisguy Says:

Your comments really don’t give any credit to Oudin. Seemingly you don’t like the “pusher” or nowadays in modern terminology the “steady baseline player”. Are you blind? Obviously you are missing the way she sets up points. Example, against Petrova she repeatedly setup her down the line backhand to Petrova’s increasingly errant forehand. Sure Petrova has a history of crashing out in the third set; but wasn’t it even sweeter to see against this brave young American Player?

Oudin has the mental fortitude to obviously go a long way in this sport.

We’re talking about 3 major upsets in a row. This is no fluke, my friend. Last time I saw this was with Justine Henin a number of years ago.

Dan Martin Says:

This is what i wrote about Oudin yesterday –

Melanie Oudin – The New Jimbo?

I have seen various experts compare Melanie Oudin to Justine Henin, Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt. I will throw another one out there: Oudin reminds me of Jimmy Connors in her ability to capture the crowd with tenacity. Jimmy also often worked his way into and through a match even if he fell behind. Oudin is smart enough to let an opponent implode, but also has enough foot speed and an ability to hit winners at opportune times that nudges her opponent toward implosion. She has also confirmed my theory that someone with comparable speed and heart to Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario could do well in the current WTA.

Dan Martin Says:

here is the link – i did not totally say what you said, but she is smart enough to let someone implode.

tenisbebe Says:

Meanwhile, no one is talking about Yanina Vickmayer, the 19-yr old Belgian, who has made the unlikely move into the quarterfinals (and they are finally showing one of her matches). Her story off the court is very compelling, having turned to tennis to assuage her grief from having lost her mother to cancer, and then later, losing a younger brother in an auto accident. Talk about tragedy! Dan – did you see her play in Cincinnati? I saw her play in the qualies first (her match on Saturday was a gritty win) and spoke to her that day and then cheered her on until her loss on Weds on that week. GO YANINA!!

tenisbebe Says:

Veno – are you watching this match? Yanina has a very good second serve. Allez!! Something for the WTA. You know I have been cheering her on & am so happy she has been able to take advantage of the seeds falling in her quarter. If she & Melanie win, they would meet up in the next round. But I am ahead of myself….

tenisbebe Says:

Woo hoo!! Yanina wins! How fantastic as I still have a picture of her and I after she won her first quali match in Cincy. Good going girl! Now if only the announcers can learn how to pronounce her name properly, it “Vickmayer”, for heaven’s sake.

Veno Says:

lol, sorry bebe, I was simultaneously the only one on the other thread talkign about Yanina hahaha

Now I understand what you mean :)

I do apologize!

I was really happy she won as I have posted many times on the other thread…

Veno Says:

Saw the whole match on television and she played a great match…

Veno Says:

tenisbebe says: “Now if only the announcers can learn how to pronounce her name properly, it “Vickmayer”, for heaven’s sake.”

ehm, bebe…….Her name is Yanina “Wickmayer”

Giner Says:

The real test is to see if she can continue her giant slaying runs at the next slam, or if it was an amazing one-off like Soderling’s FO run.

Veno Says:

Amazing one-off like Soderling’s FO run?

Don’t really agree there, Sod got to 4R at Wimby, lost to Fed(no shame) To compare….Melanie would have to beat Serena to do better than Sod.

And again now, Sod is in the Quarter…facing Fed.

Oudin slain some giants but the big Kahuna she has not.

Soderling did slay the big Kahuna and went on to the final and played well the 2 slams thereafter…

Giner Says:

Yes, calling him a one-off was perhaps a bit harsh and premature. I don’t think that he would have continued slaying giants even if he didn’t run into Federer again.. and again.

We’ll see.

Oudin does look promising, but this happens to a lot of players who eventually never get anywhere. Dokic, Kournikova, Alexandra Stevenson (remember her?). These girls were all Oudin’s age when they made their impressive early semi runs. I’m going to pencil in Stosur to that list.

I hope she turns out good. The opportunity is there, without any dominant players other than Serena.

Wozniacki I actually did pick to beat Oudin, but for her I anticipate she will be the next Jankovic/Safina/Dementieva. Will make a slam final (and get thrashed by Serena or Kim) but not do anything major again. Going to hold a dubious ‘best player to never win a slam’ distinction.

tenisbebe Says:

Veno – Sorry had to get some things done last evening and today (taped all the matches).

LOL, yes I had to give you some grief. I remember you & I typing about her as she is Belgian (along with Kim, who grew up very close to you).
“ehm, bebe…….Her name is Yanina “Wickmayer”” hmmm, well when I asked her in Cincy, she said “Vickmayer” but maybe I misunderstood her, who knows.

Giner – yes, the followup for Melanie (I assume you were referring to her and not Yanina) will be the true test as she will have lost the surprise element & obviously she must improve her serve, particularly the second one. But to beat 4 seeds over 2 GS’s, there is substance there, don’t you think?

funches Says:

Oudin will be a top 10 player. She has a terrific intuitive sense of point construction. Whether she can be more than that depends on her work ethic and growth. Hingis couldn’t get past the quarters of grand slams in her comeback, and she was one of the great thinkers in tennis history.

Clijsters’ success has nothing to do with the weakness of the women’s game. Lord knows there are 100 reasons to make fun of the WTA right now, but that’s not one of them. Clijsters is playing just as well as she did before she retired, when she also was making the semifinals of slams.

Wickmayer is a good player, but she has beaten no one of consequence. Her semifinal run is the definition of a fortuitous draw. Oudin’s run to the quarters was more significant because she beat Dementieva to start her run. If Wickmayer beats Wozniacki, then she’s a legitimate story.

just tellin it Says:

Who are any of you? None of you are women’s pros and you don’t know any of the stories behind the stories. So don’t go predicting the futures of players. Players like Kim and Justine don’t have any better skills than kids like Oudin and Wickemaayer. The radar gun and serving speeds reveal this too. Clijsters nor Hennin are NOT powerful players. Favorable draws, comfortable scheduling, being assigned the right agents and putting together the right teams, having the right tennis people behind your career count for far more than talent, hard work and success in women’s tennis. It all rigged crap. Bad calls have ruined the careers of some of the best athletes in tennis. Its a social game not sport. it’s crap that’s all. Dokic, Stevenson, Lucic and Kournikova were all MUCH better athletes and players than the great belgian duo. The support wasn’t there. Its’ a shame what passes today for women’s tennis. There’s no point in playing junior tennis. It needs to be shut down permanently.

just tellin it Says:

let me clarify that Kornikova & Dokic were good athletes. Lucis & Stevenson both had fitness and weight control problems. But it’s only Dokic who gets a HUGE disservice by mentioning her with this group. Dok’s was a top five and ten player. She was often penalized ranking points. These effected her early rankings too. Some matches were rigged. Still Dokic toiled away has proven to be a real competitor. She never left the sport. slogging through the damage tennis has doled out to only her career. Oudin aint as tough as Dokic believe men. She had some really bad treatment at tournaments nobody likes to talk about this stuff. but it sets her apart from the others. Nobody talks about how her mgmt company and tennis australia went to war against her career. Her parents chose to settle out of court – a bad decision it opened her career to continual retaliation. This is why the bad results kept coming after 2002. Tennis is silent about this stuff. There is none tougher or more determined than this woman dokic.

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