Oudin Comes From Way Back

2010 Bank of the West Classic
By Hiland Doolittle, July 30th, 2010
Oudin Comes From Way Back

Oudin Comes From Way Back

In the WTA Sony Ericsson Bank of the West Classic, Tuesday’s last match featured popular Melanie Oudin against Canada’s top player Aleksandra Wozniak. Wozniak, who won this event in 2008, earned a tense first-set tiebreaker and was up 5-1 in the second before something awakened the listless Oudin.

Oudin has been working on a more powerful serve and has struggled to find the successful formula she displayed last year. There have even been whispers that the 18-year old had already seen her best days and should begin looking for a real job.

But, if we think back to last year, we know that Oudin is at her best when she is not supposed to win. Down one set and trailing 1-5 in the second, Melanie Oudin was not supposed to win her first round battle with Wozniack.

The Georgian held her serve and captured a break before holding again to put Wozniak up 5-4. Melanie fought off three match points in capturing the tenth game break to pull even. Oudin held to go up 6-5 and then remarkably cruised through Wozniak to steal the set 7-5. Melanie swept through the third to complete the miracle comeback 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3. The win was important for Oudin and her large fan base that has been waiting to see a ray of hope.

Oudin will play 8th seeded wild card Victoria Azarenka in the round of sixteen today. Azarenka has had her own difficulties this season but showed rays of hope at Wimbledon. Today’s match will be an important win for one of the two young stars. Azarenka crushed Japan’s Ayumi Morita 6-0, 6-2 in her opener.

Australian Samantha Stosur opened her title run with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over American Christina McHale to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. McHale seemed outclassed in the first set but rallied behind her serve to pressure Stosur in the second. Stosur has one of the best serves in women’s tennis and is expected to fare well on the hard court.

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Third seed Aggie Radwanska advanced to the quarters with a solid 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over stubborn Ukranian Olga Savchuk. Radwanska is one of those players looking for a signature win to jump up in the standings.

Two former number ones take the court today at Stanford. Pretty girls Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic both won their openers. Ivanovic played surprisingly well in upsetting Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-2. Ivanovic has become a mystery woman on the tour. Her service deficiencies and irregular ball toss have made her vulnerable to lesser opponents. But, against the hard-hitting Kleybanova, Ana regained her competitive form.

Crowd pleaser Ivanovic will face heavily favored Marion Bartoli today. The Frenchwoman bounced USA’s Ashley Harkleroad 6-1, 6-4 to reach the second round.

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The fifth seeded Sharapova has been playing more competitively lately and is a serious threat in Stanford. Maria put away China’s Jie Zheng 6-4, 7-5 in the first round and faces Belarus’s Olga Govortsova today.

By the end of today, sixth seeded Sharar Peer of Israel and Russian pretty girl Maria Kirilenko will have seen enough of each other. The pair will face each other in singles this morning and in doubles this afternoon.


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