Thursday, September 10, 2009

Melanie Oudin Back to Earth after US Open Run


America's new Cinderella of tennis 17 year old Melanie Oudin finally had her quest for instant fame and glory come to a premature end with her defeat to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. With a height advantage of 5' 10" to 5' 6" Wozniacki patiently allowed the young American to beat herself.

Amazingly, Wozniacki hit only five winners. Of the 69 points she won, 43 were because of Oudin’s unforced errors. The Dane artfully allowed each point to develop; she played the ball to the right spot, and forced Oudin to earn every point.

Wozniacki was all class facing crowd favorite Oudin and charming the American audience. She even waited patiently after the match for ESPN reporter Pam Shriver to break all precedence and interview the loser, Oudin before interviewing the winner. It was a crazy move by Shriver that stunned fellow sports commentators and the thousands in the crowd waiting to hear from the winner. Even Oudin was shocked when Shriver shoved the mike in front of her protesting she was not prepared and they are not supposed to interview the losers.

In the day before the match Melanie seemed to get caught up in the hype about herself and made it a point to practice twice a day while scheduling photo ops and interviews with the international media. That was probably a big mistake. She appeared confused, impatient and frustrated on the court as the fiery determination from previous matches was nowhere to be found.

Perhaps a lesson for the aspiring star, not even the mighty Super Bowl or World Series professionals are allowed to give endless interviews, photo ops and go out on the town until after they have won. Someone let Melanie read and believe not in herself, but in the media hype, as she noted in one interview that when she arrived at the Open no one knew her and by the quarter final everyone in the world knew her. Maybe it wasn't everyone in the world that really knew her.

If she matures and learns from the experience she may one day become a star. In the meantime, Caroline Wozniacki, just 19 years old, has earned her shot at super stardom. As you can see from the photos, she is well on her way to becoming an endorsement favorite of the big corporations.

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