Are you enjoying Washington?
Two days ago, we were driving back from the club to the hotel. All the roads were blocked off, and there were all these police. I was like ‘Oh my god, the President is going to drive by!’. I wanted to stay and watch but the driver was like ‘No’. I love all that stuff. I’m into politics.
On Growing up an Anglophone in Montreal:
The City of Westmount is a small English city in Montreal. Montreal and the rest of Quebec are very French. People are surprised that English is my first language because my name is Genie Bouchard and it’s a French Canadian name. English is the universal language. But I can speak French pretty well.
I’m more into the American brand, because in Quebec, yeah! I’m so excited because I’m registered to vote, so whenever the next elections are, for Mayor or whatever, I’m going to vote for everything.
On winning Wimbledon:
It was a great feeling. To win my first grand slam and also to make history, it gave me more confidence.
On meeting Federer at Wimbledon:
Yeah. The best part! I talked to Roger for like five minutes. We got a picture, me and Phillip (Peliwo), who won the boys. We just expected him to come up for the picture. And he’s like, ‘What’s next? What’s your pro ranking?’. He’s asking us what we’re doing. He said, ‘When I was 18, I was 300, too’. I’m thinking, that’s a sign! We talked about his twins, because I’m a twin. I told him ‘I love your twins. You dress them up the same.’. He says ’if you don’t dress them the same, they’re going to fight’. My mom used to do that to us. He is the nicest guy. Serena left the stage right away, but he stayed and talked to everyone.
On Being a Twin:
My twin sister thinks we have some sort of telepathic thing going on. We’re complete opposites. My mom started us both in tennis when we were five, and she quit when she was six, so we don’t have a tennis thing in common. My mom and sister were with me in Wimbledon and Granby.
On Playing Juniors:
In the pros, you’re the underdog all the time. In the juniors, there’s less pressure.
Watching any Olympics?
Actually, two nights ago, I told my coach I wasn’t going to dinner with him. I was ordering room service and I was watching the ceremonies. I love the Olympics. I watched a lot of them in Vancouver two years ago. I’m jealous. I want to be there, but being at CitiOpen’s not a bad place either.
What’s the best part of the support you’ve received from Tennis Canada?
I think the biggest thing is there’s so much funding to travel all the world and that gives us a chance to win. Tennis is an international sport, and you really need to get out of Canada. They help the most with that.
What’s it going to be like at Rogers Cup with your homecoming? Are you ready to be treated as a national celebrity?
I don’t know if I’ll be treated as a national celebrity! It’s really cool. My whole family will be there as well. I played at Jarry when I was eight years old, so it really is a home tournament.
2012 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Recap: Federer Makes More History
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Roger Federer tied Pete Sampras’ record of 7 Wimbledon titles and recaptured the number 1 ranking, methodically out doing a tenacious Andy Murray ,4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 for his 3rd victory over Murray in a slam final and making Britain and Murray fans (like myself) terribly unhappy once more. Fed continues to reign as the maestro of grass.
Murray came out hot and fed off the crowds energy to break at the end of the 1st set and take it 6-4, but Federer put himself in another gear, breaking at the end of the 2nd set to take it 7-5 after Murray had multiple break point chances he was unable to convert. After a rain delay to put the roof on, Fed kept up the pace, breaking Murray in some long games in the 3rd and taking it 6-3. He closed out in the 4th over a dejected Murray 6-4, who fought to the bitter end while Ivan Lendl just sat there. Federer thumped away with serves, forehands and backhands. Afterwards, Murray and his fans shed tears of sadness and frustration.
In week 2, Federer ran roughshod over Xaiver Malisse, Mikhail Youzhny, who did well to make the quarterfinals, and then world number 1 Novak Djokovic in 4, denying the Serbian a chance to repeat at SW19.
Murray kept the home nation on edge and finally reached the final, after beating Marin Cilic, a gutsy David Ferrer in 4 (including 3 tiebreaks), and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who struggled early but pulled it together. Tsonga gave Murray a run for his money at the end of the match. Murray still triumphed in 4 sets, 2 of which were great tennis. It was an exciting week 2 to say the least, but Britain will continue to wait for its first men’s singles champion since 1937 and Murray will continue to wait for a slam victory, as he lost his 4th final and his 3rd slam final to Federer. Still, it was a surprising run given how inconsistent he had been recently.
On the doubles side, the Brits did get a ray of light as wild card Brit Jonathan Marray and Dane Frederik Nielsen took the title over Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau. Marray is the first Brit to win mens doubles since 1936, while Nielsen made some family history of his own as his grandfather Kurt made the Wimbledon men’s singles finals in 1953 and 1955 (losing both times). Jamie Murray also won the mixed doubles title with Jelena Jankovic in ’07 at Wimbledon.
2012 Wimbledon Week 2 Men’s Preview
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Week 1 at “The Championships” has finished up, and the story of the week has to be upsets, the biggest one being Lukas Rosol. The world no. 100 overcame Rafael Nadal in what was an absolutely thrilling 5 set shocker that will be forever embedded in the memory of tennis fans. Tomas Berdych fell to Ernest Gulbis in the 1st round and Roger Federer also suffered a near upset as Julien Benneteau gave him a scare, but Fed survived in 5 to carry on. Here is a breakdown of the remaining field round of 16 match ups.
Novak Djokovic vs. Viktor Troicki
Djokovic, who lost a set against Radek Stepanek in his 3rd round match but has otherwise looked quite sharp will take on his countryman Troicki, who has been a pleasant surprise, notching wins over Marcel Granollers and Martin Klizan in 5 and Juan Monaco in straights. While Troicki has played well, the fatigue of the long matches he has played will likely catch up to him and it is unlikely he will have the game to dispatch Djokovic, who can already see the final.
Richard Gasquet vs. Florian Mayer
Gasquet has won all his matches in straight sets while Mayer needed 5 sets to finish off 2nd round opponent Phillip Petzschner (who gave a good account for himself) and Polish surprise Jerzy Janowicz. Janowicz beat the man who beat Berdych, the lovable underachiever Ernest Gulbis in the previous round. Gasquet will be a favorite, but the German Mayer has a sharp game that could give Richard trouble.
Roger Federer vs. Xavier Malisse
As mentioned earlier, Federer needed 5 sets and came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Benneteau in the previous round but won his other 2 matches in straights, while Malisse one of the picks for dark horse this week has done his job beating, Marinko Matosevic and seeded players Gilles Simon (who might have been a bit distracted thanks to his own mouth) and Fernando Verdasco in 5. X-Man is a wily vet, but Federer will likely put the pedal to the metal in this one, hoping to avoid another scare.
Denis Istomin vs. Mikhail Youzhny
Istomin is the first Uzbek man to ever reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon and did so by beating the seeded Italian Andreas Seppi, Igor Andreev, and Alejandro Falla. Youzhny has had a nice career resurgence recently and took out the 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic to make the round of 16. Youzhny might be a slight favorite in this one but it could go either way.
David Ferrer vs. Juan Martin Del Potro
Ferrer outhit Andy Roddick to advance, along with winning his 2 other previous matches in straights. Del Potro beat Robin Haase in 4, Go Soeda in 4 and another man from Japan, Kei Nishikori, who did well coming off an absence, in straights to advance. Ferrer will be the favorite but Del Potro has the ability to get the win if he can play consistently and keep pressure on Ferrer.
Marin Cilic vs. Andy Murray
Marin Cilic outlasted Sam Querrey in a 5 set, 5 1/2hr epic that finished 17-15 in the 5th, making it the 2nd longest match in Wimbledon history. Cilic will now face Andy Murray. He also beat Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and Lukasz Kubot. While he is playing well, the question is: Will he have anything left in the tank to pull it off? Murray, meanwhile, handled Nikolay Davydenko and Ivo Karlovic before sending off Marcos Baghdatis in 4 under the gun of the dreaded Wimbledon 11 pm curfew.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Mardy Fish
Tsonga dispatched his 3 early round opponents and is looking very strong, while Fish has done remarkably well after a long absence from the tour. He needed 5 sets to beat Brit James Ward, but he knocked off wunderkind David Goffin (who beat Tomic earlier in the week). If he has his game in top shape, there is a chance of a win against Tsonga. Still, Jo-Willie will be the favorite.
Brian Baker vs. Phillip Kohlschreiber
Both these guys have done remarkably well to reach the round of 16, but they got a lot of help from Lukas Rosol, who knocked out big dog Nadal. Kohli was able to outlast a likely lightheaded Rosol to advance and also beat Malek Janziri and countryman Tommy Haas in 5 sets in the 1st round. Baker, who continues his red-hot play dispatched his 1st 2 opponents in straights and needed 4 sets to take down Benoit Paire. Peppo is the seeded player, but Baker is playing so well right he might be the slight favorite.
Djokovic d. Gasquet
Federer d. Youzhny
Murray d. Ferrer
Tsonga d. Baker
Djokovic d. Federer
Tsonga d. Murray
Djokovic d. Tsonga
If this somewhat surprising final occurs, it would be a rematch of their French Open battle and Tsonga’s 2nd Grand Slam final appearance, the other being at the 2008 Aussie open which he lost to Djokovic.
2012 Wimbledon Week 1 Preview
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
June 25-July 7, 2012
The most dapper slam of them all, the legendary Wimbledon will kick off tomorrow. A host of players will be vying for another grand slam title on grass, just a couple of weeks adjusted from the clay court season. Novak Djokovic is the defending champion, while Roger Federer will seek to tie Pete Sampras’ record of 7 Wimbledon titles. Rafael Nadal will go for the number 1 ranking. Mardy Fish and Kei Nishikori will also make their returns to the tour this week.
Top 8 seeds
1: Novak Djokovic
2: Rafael Nadal
3: Roger Federer
4: Andy Murray
5: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
6: Tomas Berdych
7: David Ferrer
8: Janko Tipsarevic
1st round matchups to watch:
Ryan Harrison vs. Yen-Hsun Lu
Lu made the quarters on grass at Queen’s Club in a run that included an upset of Janko Tipsarevic, while Harrison made the semis in Eastbourne. Both players come in looking pretty sharp and it could be a cracker of a match.
Fabio Fognini vs. Michael Llodra
Fognini made the quarters in Eastbourne, while Llodra, with his serve and volleying style is always a threat on grass even though his recent results haven’t been stellar. Not to mention they are both stylish Europeans.
Andreas Seppi vs. Denis Istomin
Istomin made the quarters in Eastbourne while 23 seed Seppi made the final at the same event. Both players are playing quite well right now.
Gilles Muller vs. Julien Benneteau
Muller, the veteran serve and volleyer from Luxembourg, has a good chance at pulling an upset over the 29 seed Benneteau in what will be a match of clashing play styles.
Xaiver Malisse vs. Marinko Matosevic
Matosevic, a finalist in Delray Beach this year, is at a career high ranking. He’ll take on Den Bosch finalist Malisse. Matosevic upset top seed Richard Gasquet in Eastbourne on his way to the quarterfinals.
Paul Henri-Mathieu vs. Gilles Simon
The French Open hero Mathieu will try to notch an upset over his higher ranked countryman, #13 Simon. There will be a record number of “Allez” chants in this match.
David Nalbandian vs. Janko Tipsarevic
Tipsarevic is the 8 seed but comes in on kind of a down note and doesn’t play his best on grass. Enter Nalbandian. Besides his violent outburst, he did make the final at Queen’s Club and is actually playing quite well. If he can keep his head together and his anger in check, he has an ironic chance to make a good run here if he can get through Tipsy.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt will continue his efforts to come back from injury and will have to face the 5 seed Tsonga, who besides his loss at Queen’s club a couple of weeks ago is usually quite sharp on grass. Can the former Wimbledon champion pull off a thrilling upset?
David Goffin vs. Bernard Tomic
If Tomic is to perform anywhere near his quarterfinal run last year, he is going to have to get through this year’s wonder kid, David Goffin, who had a stellar French Open himself and burst onto the scene.
Tommy Haas vs. Phillip Kohlschreiber
The red hot Haas will take on Peppo, who is playing quite well himself. This is a reprisal of their Halle semifinal match, which Haas won en route to his title there. This is a match that should take place later on in the week an not the 1st round. Enjoy it while you can.
The Djoker himself will start off against semi-dangerous veteran J.C Ferrero and then face the winner of Harrison vs. Lu. He would then likely face veteran serve and volleyer Radek Stepanek, who is always a danger on a fast surface like grass. It should be a good test for him to see where his game is at after losing that French Open final to Nadal. Novak hasn’t played any tournament matches on grass this year.
15 seed Juan Monaco, who also hasn’t put much time in on grass and really doesn’t favor the surface will take on countryman Leonardo Mayer. Then he’d face Jeremy Chardy v. Fillipo Volandri winner and either 24 seed Marcel Granollers or Viktor Troicki. Troicki has a really good shot at a nice run here if he can get through Granollers, Juan Igancio Chela or Martin Klizan and then Chardy/Monaco/Mayer/Volandri. Otherwise, Granollers probably gets through.
6 seed Tomas Berdych, whom much has been expected from, opens up against Ernie Gulbis. He would then face Simone Bolleli or Jerzy Jankowicz of Poland, and then could run into Den Bosch finalist Phillip Petzschner (who burst onto the tour once again last week).
Dangerous serving 12 seed Nicolas Almagro lurks here and if he can get through the tricky Oliver Rochus, the winner of Steve Darcis vs. Guilliaume Rufin and even 18 seed Richard Gasquet, he likely gets Berdych.
Federer opens up against Spaniard Albert Ramos and then will face either Fognini or Llodra, and afterward either Muller (if he can pull the upset) or Benneteau.
13 seed Gilles Simon gets PHM, and then the dangerous match up of Malisse or Matosevic (who could very well pull the upset). Either of them could pull another upset over 17 seed Fernando Verdasco to make it deep into the tournament.
8 Seed Janko Tipsarevic will have to face Nalbandian. If Nalby knocks him off, he would then have a nice draw in front of him as the winner of that 1st round encounter will get the winner of Ryan Sweeting vs. Potito Starace and then probably 26 seed Mikhail Youzhny.
11 seed John Isner, who even with his big serve has never made it past the 2nd round of Wimbledon (probably due to the fatigue inducing matches he tends to play on grass), will face Alejandro Falla and then could face Nicolas Mahut in a rematch that I’m sure will be nothing like the original.
23 seed Andreas Seppi, a finalist in Eastbourne, will take on Denis Istomin. Either guy is primed for a pretty nice run here, as the winner will probably face Igor Andreev and then a possibly fatigued Isner.
Andy Murray gets a horrendous draw and will have to run the gauntlet if he is to put the home nation on edge again. He will face veteran Nikolay Davydenko, then the Tennis Twister Ivo Karlovic and his wicked serve, and then another hard serving big man Kevin Anderson. If he can manage all that, Murray would then play the winner of Milos Raonic/Marin Cilic, both big guys who can serve and volley well.
I hate to say it, but given his recent form, the only question is whether Murray will lose in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th round. Any other result would be quite a shock, which is shocking itself considering he is the 4 seed.
16 seed Marin Cilic, the default winner of Queen’s Club, will start off against Cedrik Marcel-Stebe then likely face Lukasz Kubot and then either 21 seed Raonic or Queen’s semi-finalist Sam Querrey (who has had a nice resurgence in recent weeks). The Cilic-Raonic match, should it come, could be a thriller.
7 seed David Ferrer, the Den Bosch champion, will face Dustin Brown then either Mattias Bachinger or Kenny De Schepper and then the, on a good day, dangerous Andy Roddick (who just took the title in Eastbourne). Ferrer should get through Roddick, then likely faces 9 seed Juan Martin Del Potro, who has been inconsistent on grass in the past.
Del Po starts off against Robin Haase, then either Go Soeda or Igor Kunitsyn and then the returning 19 seed Kei Nishikori. We will find out if Kei has his game together and if so, he could give Del Potro and others quite the fit.
Rafa opens up against Thomaz Bellucci, who has had a disappointing year thus far. He could then face the man who knocked off Tsonga at Queen’s Club, Ivan Dodig. After, he’d get to the red-hot Haas or the man who beat him in Halle, Kohlschreiber for likely 3rd round match ups.
14 seed Feliciano Lopez faces Jarkko Nieminen, then comeback kid Brian Baker most likely. Then, he could see either big serving Aussie Matt Ebden, Frenchman Benoit Paire (Den Bosch semi-finalist), struggling 22 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov or Alex Bogomolov Jr.
Tsonga will face Hewitt and then the winner of the long name match, Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Following, he would get a rematch from their 5 set tussle at the French Open against ‘Stan the Man’ Wawrinka, seeded 25th.
10 seed Mardy Fish makes his return after a lengthy absence and will take on Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, the winner of James Ward vs. Pablo Andujar and then Goffin/Tomic or Jesse Levine/Karol Beck. Actually, a pretty good draw for the top ranked American.
Dark Horses (1 for each quarter of the draw):
Phillip Petzschner, Xaiver Malisse and David Nalbandian, Kevin Anderson and Benoit Paire.
Petzschner blitzed to the final in Den Bosch and doesn’t have an impossible draw if he can get through Florian Mayer and the inconsistent Tomas Berdych. Then, he’d likely get Almagro in another tough but winnable match.
Malisse and Nalbandian are both wily, grass savvy veterans who will need to take out seeded players Gilles Simon/Fernando Verdasco and Janko Tipsarevic/Mikhail Youzhny. Both have played very well recently and get players who normally aren’t their sharpest on grass. Nalby likely faces Seppi or Isner in the 4th round.
Anderson will face the man who beat him at Queen’s Club, Grigor Dimitrov, in a rematch. Then, he’ll square off against the winner of Albert Montanes vs. Marcos Baghdatis followed by Karlovic/Murray. If he has his top game, he can win all of those matches.
Paire, a Den Bosch semifinalist, faces Matt Ebden then Dolgo/Bogo, followed by either Lopez or Baker before having to run into Rafa. A nice chance at the 4th round for him here.
Week 1 Predictions (4th round matchups)
Djokovic vs. Granollers
Berdych vs. Almagro
Federer vs. Malisse
Seppi vs. Nalbandian
Ferrer vs. Del Potro
Cilic vs. Anderson
Tsonga vs. Tomic
Nadal vs. Paire
Here is my full Wimby Prediction Bracket.
Djokovic d. Berdych
Federer d. Nalbandian
Ferrer d. Cilic
Nadal d. Tsonga
Nadal d. Ferrer
(both rematches of the French Open semis)
Djokovic d. Nadal
Novak finally notches a win over Rafa, on a more favorable surface.
2012 Wimbledon Ladies Singles Preview
By Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
June 25-July 8, 2012
Prize Money: £16,060,000
The Great Grandmother of Grand Slams is upon us. Or should we call Wimbledon the Great Slam Mother? Or the Slam Mum? The latter one sounds too close to the title of Morrissey’s ill-advised ”Slum Mums“. Either way, if there’s one thing we know and love about grandmothers, it is their consistency. We don’t expect them to show up at Sunday dinner with a neck tattoo, a tongue-piercing or a 20-year-old boyfriend. On that note, we certainly don’t expect the Great Grandmother of Grand Slams to shock us, either. We don’t expect a world #50 to play in the ladies final. The All England Lawn Tennis Club boasts Petra Kvitova as its reigning champion, about the closest thing to octogenarian body-piercing that will ever come out of SW19.
First Round Matchups to Watch
Kim Clijsters v. Jelena Jankovic
JJ and Kim have met many times before, and Clijsters leads the series 7-1. She beat Jankovic in the Sydney final in 2007. JJ’s lone win against Kim was in Toronto in 2009. The big question is Clijsters’ ability to ramp back up after the layoff. In a close one, Jankovic’s recent tour experience could prove the difference.
Caroline Wozniacki v. Tamira Paszek
Tamira’s on a roll right now. The Eastbourne finalist has found very recent success, while Wozniacki was dumped in Eastbourne’s first round by Christina McHale. You will know right away if Wozniacki has come packing heat at Wimbledon by her success against Paszek. Expect Paszek to press her, but Wozniacki to win. The winner could face red-hot Alize Cornet in the second round.
Yanina Wickmayer v. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Wickmayer ended Kuznetsova’s Wimbledon bid last year in three sets in the Round of 32 when both women were ranked in the top 20. This year, only Kuznetsova is seeded, and she’s at #32. Though neither has played with consistency this year, this match is a true toss-up. The winner should be comfortably poised to at least the third round, as Greta Arn and Galina Voskoboeva are possible second round opponents.
Victoria Azarenka v. Irina Falconi
Another early test for a high seed, Azarenka will face one of my favorite Americans in the draw. Falconi is a Birmingham Quarterfinalist. Azarenka hasn’t had a lot of exposure to the grass since bowing out in the fourth round to Dominika Cibulkova at Roland Garros. A close match is expected.
Maria Sharapova starts against Anastasia Rodionova, who shouldn’t present a mammoth challenge. Her possible second round opponents could give her trouble, as qualifier Vesna Dolonc and Eastbourne quarterfinalist Tsvetana Pironkova have several impressive wins under their belt in the last week. After that, it could be smooth sailing. By seeding, she should face Sabine Lisicki in the Round of 16, although Lisicki’s consistency is very questionable at this time.
Those who would seek to face Sharapova in the Quarterfinals include Clijsters, Jankovic, Kerber, Zvonareva, and the currently dangerous upset duo of Ekaterina Makarova and Christina McHale. Clijsters will provide answers almost immediately as to her chances of hoisting a last trophy on the grass during her first round match against JJ. Zvonareva has turned over little evidence to suggest that she will make it far enough to face the winner of JJ and Clijsters.
Angelique Kerber will likely have to face one or two of the giant-slayers from Eastbourne. Ekaterina Makarova is a probable second round opponent, and McHale could be waiting for the winner in the third round.
In the bottom of the top half, #3 seed Aga Radwanska will face an early test, but not until the second round. Elena Vesnina and Venus Williams will vie for the right to be that test subject. After that, Aga could face Hantuchova and then Birmingham Champ Melanie Oudin or Nads Petrova in the Round of 16. An early stumble for Radwanska is very possible.
Those who seek to meet Radwanska in the Quarterfinal include Sam Stosur and Na Li. Those two players might have the easiest opening rounds of the draw and should be favorites to advance.
The top part of the bottom half is the “group of death” for the ladies at Wimbledon. With Serena at the top and Kvitova at the bottom, most would pencil them in for a quarterfinal meeting. The devil is in the details, though, and while Kvitova’s ability to repeat as champion is slightly uncertain, Serena’s ride is rocky. She should survive the first two rounds before a possible match up with the winner of Wozniak and Jie Zheng. Wozniak won that matchup against Zheng at Wimbledon. If Serena were to be successful there, she would be looking at a fight against either Roland Garros finalist Errani, RG quarterfinalist Shvedova or 19 seed Lucie Safarova.
To find the Round of 16, Kvitova will probably face Pavlyuchenkova. To make it to the quarters, she could be seeing Schiavone or Cibulkova.
In the final quarter of the draw, Wozniacki, Bartoli and Azarenka reign supreme. Perhaps this is the group of death after all. Wozniacki, as mentioned above, will face Paszek in the opener. A second rounder with Cornet is probable. Then would come Wickmayer/Kuznetsova. Marion Bartoli should be waiting for her next.
Azarenka has an easier ride than most. That opener against Falconi will say so much about her chances to reach the final.
Though the WTA has been known as “Winning Through Anarchy” of late, 2012 Wimbledon will likely shape up to be more predictable than recent slams. Sharapova has the draw she needs to win a second straight slam, and only Azarenka has the draw and perseverance to meet her in the final.
Dark Horse: Melanie Oudin
Though she’s had a few disappointing seasons, Oudin’s comeback is coming at the perfect time. After slogging through Birmingham to capture her first WTA title ever, she is poised to make a possible run to the quarterfinals. Her finest performance at Wimbledon to date was a 2009 4th round appearance. She should have as good a shot as anyone to beat Radwanska in a possible 4th round match up this year.
Sharapova d. Kerber
Stosur d. Oudin
Kvitova d. S. Williams
Azarenka d. Bartoli
Sharapova d. Stosur
Azarenka d. Kvitova
Sharapova d. Azarenka
For Melanie Oudin, Patience Pays Off
Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
June 18, 2012–Marietta, Georgia’s Melanie Oudin seemingly came out of nowhere to reach the 2009 US Open Quarterfinals. The press ate up her story and elevated her to ‘next big thing’ status. Many of us were certain that she would have won several singles titles and possibly a Grand Slam by now.
Three long years have passed. Though she did win a US Open Mixed Doubles title with Jack Sock last year, a young player who debuts at a Singles Quarterfinals at a Grand Slam will be judged by her singles performance. Last year, it started to get ugly. Those who once cheered her on started to deride her. So-called fans on Facebook and Twitter even called attention to her physique every time they thought she’d gained a pound or two. In fact, the comment section of the 2011 Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs Facebook live stream had to be cut off by the USTA because of such visceral nonsense. Her career high #31 singles ranking seemed like a distant memory as late as last week, when she was at #269.
Patience finally paid off for Oudin, who’s consistently playing her best tennis yet. Today, she beat world #22, Jelena Jankovic, 6-4, 6-2, to claim her first WTA singles title in Birmingham, England.
This win required lots of patience, and Melanie is obviously not in short supply. Her scheduled quarterfinal match against compatriot Irina Falconi was scheduled for Friday, but due to rain, was played over the course of Saturday and Sunday. She also had to immediately play a semifinal on Sunday.
Wild Card entrant Oudin is dangerous going into Wimbledon. She’s been called that before. Now, she’s a grass titlist in a Wimbledon warm-up, a fact that bolsters the opinion that she is more dangerous than ever to a first round opponent at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club next week.