Oudin Beats Jankovic, Wins 1st Career Title Monday at WTA Birmingham
by Staff | June 18th, 2012, 10:12 am

Entering the week ranked outside the Top 200, no one thought it would be American Melanie Oudin’s time to shine during the grasscourt season, but the 20-year-old won her first career WTA title on Monday in the rain-delayed final of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham, England.
Oudin, who rocketed to stardom a few years ago when she shot to the quarterfinals of the US Open, beating current world No. 1 Maria Sharapova en route, plummeted down the rankings just as fast when she experienced confidence issues and found it difficult to meet public expectations.

On Monday Oudin earned her first title by beating a former world No. 1, Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 6-2. Oudin is now 2-0 career vs. Jankovic after beating her at Wimbledon a couple years back.

Oudin had to qualify to the main draw of Birmingham, utilizing her flat groundstrokes on the slick grass, and was 1-4 in WTA main draws in 2012 entering the event.

Jankovic fell to 12-15 in career finals.

It was also announced on Monday that Oudin, whose ranking would not allow her entry to the Wimbledon qualifying, has received a main draw wildcard at Wimbledon.

Jankovic after their 2009 Wimbledon meeting famously said of Oudin, “She cannot hurt you with anything. She doesn’t have any weapons, from what I’ve seen…She doesn’t make so many mistakes. But she doesn’t do anything, either, so it’s like she’s depending kind of on you.”

After winning her quarterfinals and semifinals on Sunday in the rain-plagued Birmingham, Oudin said her confidence is back.

“The confidence is a huge thing,” she said. “As much as I didn’t think it was, it is much more. Even closing out a match. Like the first match point and you’re able to close that one, I feel like before I would completely doubt myself and worry, ‘Oh, no, I don’t know if I can even win this one.’ And now I feel really confident I really can.”

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22 Comments for Oudin Beats Jankovic, Wins 1st Career Title Monday at WTA Birmingham

RZ Says:

But what did JJ say this time after losing to Oudin?

Kimmi Says:

big results fir oudin. congratulations to her.

Kimmi Says:


AndyNYC Says:

I am glad to see her finally getting some results.I do have to say, though, she looked a bit heavy on court in the match I saw against Makarova?

Wog boy Says:

I wouldn’t look to much in to this, JJ became punching bag in a last 12 months or so. Sad but true. I don’t think her mind is in the tennis anymore. She is there to get little bit more money and that is about it. San Diego is waiting for her to retire, last I heard, she built beautifull house in beautifull city of San Diego. I met some people from San Diego and they really love their city.

Kimberly Says:

Now colino7 will have to stop ragging on her for how she stinks. At least until the next tournament. Andy, yes she looked kind of thick to me too.

sar Says:

Wog boy
I love San Diego too, I don’t blame her.

jane Says:

San Diego is great; I love the beach culture. And Legoland. ;)

Kimmi Says:

wogboy – you cant say we shouldn’t look too much into this. I think this is HUGE for Oudin. she played from qualis to a champion. She couldn’t win a match for months (she had series of first round loses). her ranking plummet to 200s or was it 300s?

OK, she maybe not be a no.1 material but I believe she has the talent of at least a top 50, she just needed to sort herself out mentally. Hope she is doing that now.

JJ might have problems but she is still ranked in the top 20.. so she cant be that bad. But I understand what you mean, fans will always have high expectations on somebody who was ranked no.1 before.

Wog boy Says:

sar, jane,

You made me puting San Diego on my list of the places I would like to visit in USA, so far I have NYC and Chicago on my list. It can work well flying from Australia to west coast of USA and work my way to east coast and then fly to Europe.
I will keep working on this itenerary:)

Wog boy Says:


I was refering only to JJ and where is her game ATM. Oudin already bit JJ and that was when JJ was much better player than she is today, so that is not such a big surprise, just have a look who did she (JJ) lost against in the last 12 months and that will tell you everything. She has got contractual obligations and she has to play but she is not happy person on the court and that is sad because she is only 27 years old though she started really young.
I didn’t have a go at Oudin, sorry if it came out that way.

Kimmi Says:

no worries wogboy, we are only talking :)

Hopefully there is good matches in eastbourne. I keep cheering for petra (hopefully she can find her last year form), clijsters is back. those two are my fav this week

Anna Says:

It can’t ever be good for a tennis player to look like a linebacker. I get that there’s more weight behind the shot, but it must be awfully hard to haul the poundage around the court, and Melanie was huffing and puffing throughout the match with Makarova. I think she should talk to Marion Bartoli, losing weight helped her game alot. Even Wozniacki looks like she’s thinner this year.

Kissmygrits Says:

Melanie was just a little girl that liked hitting a tennis ball. Then, people put all their expectations on her and took away her love for the game. Some people just want to do what they are good at and have no desire to become international superstars. It is nice to see her take her tennis back from the fanemies.

zola Says:

way to go Melanie! I love to see these young talents.

Kimberly Says:

kimmi-i see petra lost to makarova? However she wasnt good leading up to RG and she made the semis. I am not a Kvitova fan but I think she certainly has the game to dominate but I think her fans have to accept her inconsistency as part of her game. I remember one match where the commentators said her opponents best shot was to wait for her bad patch during a match because at her top she was totally unbeatable. I think the same applies to Serena sort of. Her matches are totally on her own racket.

Kimmi Says:

Kimberly – I watched that match. there were shots she was hitting to the stand and they weren’t mishits, that is how off she is. When she got broken in the second set it was one error after another. the break point was a sitter that she couldn’t put on the court. Ugh!! It is so sad to watch her like this.

Seriously, i don’t give her a chance this wimbledon. Maybe next year, right now she is nowhere near last year form.

I watched some of wozniacki /mcHale match. I have seen enough of christina already, she has great talent. Great win for her.

This wimbledon is sharapova’s to lose imo.

Kimberly Says:

Will be interesting to see what azarenka and Serena can do. I think Mchale has great game but she needs a year or so or more of competing at the top level.

Kimmi Says:

serena could really good or so bad. I dont know about her anymore.

Kimberly Says:

Sharapova seemed so focused on the clay season And so mentally tough, I wonder if she can carry that over to grass. She arrived a Stuttgart and save match points against stosur and gutted out that tough match with Li Na and played so well most of the time but willed herself to win even when not at her best. It will be interesting to see if she shows up for the grass season with same focus.

Serena can go one way or the other. At her best she is unbeatable. But her best is less often now.

Azarenka had all the momentum beginning the year and seemed to be having a Novak like start but now starting Miami seems to have cooled off.

Radwanska doesn’t seem to have anough power to do anything on grass although she hassle the quarters several times with her craftiness. But I think she is a hard court player.

Pironkhova and Bartoli always good on grass.

Does zvonereva even play tennis anymore? I recall she played the final one year. Haven’t noticed her around.

Stosur to quote colin07 “stinks” on grass if you look at her results. Not sure why.

Venus. The results speak for themselves but at this point I think shes too old.

Wozniaki. I think rory and her are focusing toouch on each other and not on their games.

Li Na, no words after what happened at the French.

Would be nice to see some of the young Americans make a push.

So my conclusion is kvitova is in with a chance but sharapova azarenka and serena would be the favorites. But this is the WTA so it is entirely possible that someone we can’t even fathom could win or play the final like Sarah errani!

Kimmi Says:

yap, sara errani came from nowhere. french open is known to produce a lot of one slam wonders but not wimbledon. there are very few grass court specialist out there.

I agree with you about all those players you mentioned. Venus!! i bet she wont make more that three rounds.

The last time i saw sharapova play this good was when she won the Aussie open, cant remember the year. she seem to be playing with lots of confidence at the moment.

Serena makes sharapova play bad because she attacks her serve…maria starts doubting herself. But now with her confidence i think if they play at wimbledon it will be a very good match.

I hope serena plays well to make things interesting.

Kimberly Says:

Venus has an ideal grass court game for the old grass but as the grass has slowed and she has slowed as well! I agree and would be surprised if she made the fourth round. But she is a five time defending champ. I wonder if they will seed her.

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