Advertisement

U.S. OPEN

Winning big is a big deal for Melanie Oudin

The pint-size 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., takes out another top player, 29th-seeded Maria Sharapova.

September 06, 2009|Diane Pucin

NEW YORK — Melanie Oudin, a 17-year-old who isn't embarrassed to admit she has a 15-year-old boyfriend, burst into tears after she upset 29th-seeded Maria Sharapova, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, Saturday in a third-round U.S. Open match.

Even though Oudin took out fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the second round and had upset former No. 1-ranked Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon, this winning huge matches is still a big deal for Oudin.

It will be a big deal if top-ranked Dinara Safina ever wins a major tournament as well. It won't happen at the Open for the top-seeded Safina.

In a match moved from Arthur Ashe Stadium to Louis Armstrong because of the late day session, 72nd-ranked Petra Kvitova took out Safina, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5), in the third round.

In much less dramatic fashion, five-time defending champion and top-seeded Roger Federer did lose a set but was never seriously threatened by 31st-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

It was Oudin who may have stamped herself as a new tennis star. The pint-size 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., was always the aggressor against Sharapova. Oudin may have occasionally sent a serve 10 feet long or wafted a forehand to the backstop, but she never lost her nerve or her way and now is into the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

John Isner, 24, must have felt like a foreign visitor. The Ashe Stadium crowd was firmly behind Andy Roddick, whose only major championship had come here in 2003. Next up for Isner is 10th-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who eliminated 20th-seeded Tommy Haas, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8), 1-6, 6-4.

--

Stat of the Day

Sharapova served a U.S. Open-record 21 double faults against Oudin in three sets. Isner and Roddick combined for eight (seven for Isner) in five sets.

--

Upset of the Day

When the top-seeded player loses in the third round, that's got to be the upset of the day. So Safina it is. But no matter what, she'll be No. 1 on the computer when the tournament is over.

--

Quote of the Day

Fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic, after beating American qualifier Jesse Witten, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4, on how it was his tennis racket landed on the other side of the net on his own serve: "Because of the sweat. I get the sweat a lot. Then I always try to use some liquids to stop sweating and then I sweat and I just, I didn't squeeze the racket."

--

Today's featured matches

On Arthur Ashe Stadium, beginning at 8 a.m. PDT, second-seeded and defending champion Serena Williams against 22nd-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, followed by third-seeded Rafael Nadal against Nicolas Almagro in an all-Spanish match and capped by third-seeded Venus Williams against 2005 Open champion Kim Clijsters. The night session, beginning at 4 p.m. PT, will have seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia and 10th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy and resurgent 28-year-old Taylor Dent of Newport Beach and second-seeded Andy Murray of Scotland.

Out and about and around the grounds: On Louis Armstrong Stadium, beginning at 8 a.m. PT, ninth-seeded Gilles Simon of France and 24th-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain; 18th-seeded Li Na of China and 26th-seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone of Italy; and sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina against Daniel Koellerer.

--

diane.pucin@latimes.com

twitter.com/mepucin

--

latimes.com/sports

Remembering a tennis classic

Charlie Pasarell says his epic Wimbledon match against Pancho Gonzalez in 1969 was painful, but Gonzalez -- honored posthumously Saturday in New York -- would always be his hero.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|