Oudin handed French Open wild card
Originally published on: 08/05/12 00:00
It is less than three years since Melanie Oudin reached the US Open quarter-finals after four sensational victories over top Russian opponents, but the 20-year-old American has had to rely on a wild card to play in the French Open later this month. The United States Tennis Association are given one wild card by their Paris counterparts in a reciprocal agreement and have awarded it to Oudin on the strength of her performances on the USTA Pro Circuit’s recent clay-court events at Dothan, Charlottesville and Indian Harbour Beach.
Oudin, who reached a career-high No.31 in the world rankings in April 2010, had tumbled to No.370, her lowest placing for four years, at the start of last month’s Charlottesville tournament, but responded in fine fashion to win the title. All five of the players she beat, including Russia’s Alla Kudryatseva and the Americans Julia Cohen and Irina Falconi, were ranked higher than her.
After going on to beat Cohen again at Indian Harbour Beach, Oudin topped the standings in the wild card table drawn up by the USTA, which was based on performances over the three clay-court events.
Oudin has had a roller-coaster career. In 2009 she knocked out Jelena Jankovic to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon and went on to even greater glory at the US Open, beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova en route to the last eight before losing to Caroline Wozniacki. Even last year she was creating headlines by winning the US Open mixed doubles title with her fellow American teenager, Jack Sock.
However, times have been tough on the tour for the 20-year-old from Georgia. Until her recent wins on clay, Oudin had not won a main draw match on the WTA or ITF circuits since September. She has not won a match at a Grand Slam tournament since the 2010 US Open.