The third highest ranking American woman at the U.S. Open right now is a 17-year-old Georgian, Melanie Oudin. Today, Oudin will take Arthur Ashe for the first time in her very young career, and she’s got quite the task: She has to play the no. 4 woman in the world, Elena Dementieva.
We asked Nick Bollettieri how Oudin could pull off a major upset. He said she had to swing for the fences.
“Oudin has to gamble,” he said. “She has to do a little bit more than she’s accustomed to. I don’t think that just keeping it in play and getting everything back will be enough to beat Dementieva. She needs a surprise attack. Go for more on the second serve, go for your return a little bigger. Put more pressure on her. Change it up.”
We’ve heard her compared to Amy Frazier (eep!), and a good result here would be received as something of a miracle.
Oudin will have the crowd behind her, though, and she already has some pretty impressive wins in her young career. At Wimbledon, she upset Jelena Jankovic in the third round, and beat a ranked player, Sybille Bammer, in the first round. Oudin beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets at the Grandstand on Monday in an impressive display. But Dementieva is a different proposition entirely.
The match begins at 11 this morning.