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American teenager defeats Elena Dementieva at U.S. Open

17-year-old Melanie Oudin stuns fourth-seeded player, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Jelena Jankovic, with heavy heart, also loses.

September 04, 2009|Diane Pucin

NEW YORK — It was a day of great joy for 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin. Despite a cramping strain in her left thigh, Oudin upset fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, on Thursday in a second-round U.S. Open match.

But it was also a day of great sadness for fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic, a finalist here last year but who became a second-round loser to Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6). Jankovic played despite learning that her grandmother had died in Serbia on Wednesday. Jankovic's mother, Snezana, who is an animated presence at nearly all of her daughter's matches, had left the tournament to return to Serbia and Jankovic said playing the match was difficult.

"I wasn't really on the court," Jankovic said. "I was very sad emotionally. I really tried my best to be there and to try to play, but it was really hard."

Oudin, from Marietta, Ga., had been aggressively knocking Dementieva all over the court with nervy volleys, clever lobs and a blazing forehand until she felt a stabbing pain in the third set and was left momentarily teary-eyed. But she kept pressing forward and finally cracked a winning smash on a weak reply from Dementieva.

Next up for Oudin will be a chance to take down former No. 1 player and 29th-seeded Maria Sharapova, who Thursday beat another 17-year-old American, Christina McHale, 6-2, 6-1.

Once again the men's matches mostly went according to form, especially fifth-seeded Andy Roddick's 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 over 81st-ranked Marc Gicquel of France. Also, Sam Querrey of Thousand Oaks, seeded 22nd, beat Kevin Kim of Newport Coast, 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4. And Jesse Witten, a 26-year-old Kentucky graduate who is ranked No. 276 in the world and who needed to win three qualifying matches to get into the main draw, beat 79th-ranked Maximo Gonzalez, a 26-year-old from Argentina, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.

Stat of the day

How long it took to complete two three-set women's matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium Thursday: 5 hours, 25 minutes. How long it took 12th-seeded Robin Soderling to beat Marcel Granollers: 16 minutes. Granollers was injured and Soderling won, 2-0.

Upset of the day

Oudin, No. 70 in the world, beat fourth-seeded Dementieva 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Dementieva could have won a $1-million bonus had she won the Open because she had finished first in the Olympus U.S. Open Series points standings based on her hard-court play this summer.

Quote of the day

Dinara Safina, No. 1 women's player in the world, on who is more popular in her home country of Russia, her or brother -- and noted lady killer -- Marat Safin: "My brother. By the girls, so far. I mean, how many girls are there in Russia?"

Today's featured matches

At Arthur Ashe Stadium, beginning at 8 a.m. PDT, Vania King of Long Beach goes against 22nd-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia; second-seeded and defending champion Serena Williams takes on Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain; and second-seeded Andy Murray meets Paul Capdeville of Chile. In the night session, beginning at 4 p.m. PDT, third-seeded Venus Williams goes against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia followed by third-seeded Rafael Nadal against Germany's Nicolas Kiefer.

Out and about and around the grounds: At Louis Armstrong Stadium, beginning at 8 a.m. PDT, 10th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, who recently became the first Italian women ever ranked in the top 10 after winning the L.A. Women's Tennis Championships, takes on Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, followed by sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and Jurgen Melzer, 32nd-seeded Nicolas Almagro and American Robby Ginepri and an all-Belgian match between Kim Clijsters and Kirsten Flipkens.


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