Melanie Oudin

An absolutely amazing run for Melanie Oudin!!! The 17 year old from Marietta Georgia – she’s scrappy and feisty and kind of reminds me of a cross between Amanda Coetzer and Justine Henin. Melanie set the Open ablaze for her second straight upset, first against Elena Dementieva and today against Shaza 7-5 in the third.

I didn’t think that Oudin could tough-out Shaza in today’s match, especially after losing the first set, but for someone that is 17 it is incredible that she is 16-4 in 3 set matches this year.  And she now plays Nadia Petrova in the round of 16 and the way Melanie is playing right now all matches are winnable. And again, Shaza was done in by 21 double faults, it’s incredible that she is able to hang in there considering she gave away 5+ games of double faults alone.

There have been so many upsets in the ladies it has gotten contagious, I almost feel like at this point the underdogs should be the favorites on the ladies side. Huge match tomorrow between Venus and Clijsters, we will really have a good idea of where Kim is at after this match, but I have a feeling that Kim is going to continue the upset trend and take out Venus in a tight 3 setter. And I think Serena will send a message to the field tomorrow against Hantuchova – she is without question still the player to beat. But talk about someone flying under the radar, Kuzzi should take advantage of her section of the draw. She is a former champion here and she won the French this year- and is look ing in very good form.

The mens side had been dominated by the top players until tonight, for the first time all of the top 16 reached the round of 32. How about 3 incredible American stories in the last 2 days. First Taylor Dent winning that epic 5 setter against Navarro. It’s a fantastic story of a guy who was out for 2 years because of injury and after the match he did something that I have never seen before- he grabbed the umpires microphone and thanked all the fans in attendance. It was a really nice touch and a great moment for the sport. Taylor should have his work cut out for him though as he has the rough assignment of Andy Murray in the next round. Earlier today the 26 year old Jesse Witten, ranked 270, pushed Djokovic to the limit. A performance like that gives a lot of hope for all the journeyman out there. If Witten can keep up this high level of play week in and week out he will certainly not be on the future and challenger circuit for much longer.

And last but definitely not least, what a big time win for John Isner!  In the first big upset on the mens side, he showed tremendous guts and determination in his 7-6 in the 5th win against Roddick and I think this win just propelled his career to the next level. And for Andy, just another extremely tough loss to swallow. Hopefully he will be able to rebound from these string of heartbreakers and keep moving in the right direction.  We also got one more big upset in the night sess ion as world number 72 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic took out Dinara Safina in an extremely tight match. Call it the Oudin Effect- these upsets are contagious!

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