2014/04/24

Melanie Oudin – Looking backward, yet looking forward

NEW HAVEN – Almost three years have passed since her surprise surge to the quarterfinals in the 2009 US Open, but Melanie Oudin is still looking onward and upward despite her inconsistency on the court since that magical run in Flushing Meadow which saw her knock out Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova along the way. Oudin’s ranking plummeted to No. 370 back in April – a far cry from her career high ranking of 31 achieved back in late April of 2010, but she’s made strides since then to move back up to 106 in the world this week, thanks to capturing her first career WTA title in Birmingham back in June. She’s also moved her training base to the United States Tennis Association’s training center at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow.
I asked the Marietta, Georgia native on Saturday, ‘What would 2012 Melanie Oudin tell 2009 Melanie Oudin after all that has happened?’
She replied:  “I would probably tell myself that I cannot believe everything that I’ve been through in the past three years and I’m only twenty years-old. I’ve already been through the highs and the lows of a tennis career, in about a three-year period.
“So that’s probably the craziest thing ever but really I think that.. there were always things that helped about that run in ’09 and there are things that didn’t help me in the run 09. I’ve never regretted it though. Of course not.
“Everyone says that it’s the best I’ve ever played, but I really, really think that I can still play better tennis than I played in ’09 and I have a feeling that I am going to be a better player through everything. You know, I’m getting smarter. As I get a little bit older I think that it’s just not quite here yet. I feel that it’s just going to take a little bit more time for me. But I do think I’m going to be a better player even when I did well in ’09.”
Oudin is looking forward to the upcoming US Open where she and Jack Sock are defending Mixed Doubles champions.
“We are going to play again,” said an excited Oudin. She said that people seemed to be surprised that she and Sock are playing together again. “We are undefeated- I mean our first time playing we win the tournament! So we are definitely looking to defend the title. It should be really, really fun.”
Oudin will participate in all three events at the US Open- singles, doubles and mixed doubles. “I’m looking forward to going deeper in singles and in Women’s Doubles as well,” Oudin said gleefully.
“Last year all I had to focus on were the Mixed Doubles, but this year I’m hoping to do well in all three events.”
Oudin reached the main draw of the New Haven Open as a “Lucky Loser” and lost in the first round on Monday to Sofia Arvidsson. Oudin will play in the US Open beginning next week.
Karen Pestaina is the editor and founder of Tennis Panorama News.
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Elena Dementieva and Elena Likhovtseva Play in Tennis Stars for Children

Moscow, Russia (January 28, 2011) – Russian women’s tennis legends Elena Dementieva and Elena Likhovtseva took part in “Tennis Stars for Children,” an exhibition mixed doubles match at the Tennis Palace Central Sports Club of Army (CSKA) on Jan. 27. The event was organized with the support of Gulfstream Security Systems, the Russian Tennis Federation, and Central Sports Army Club to benefit the Absolute Help Foundation and Serpukhov City Orphanage. The exhibition match featured Dementieva and Andrei Olkhovskiy against Likhovtseva and Igor Kunitsyn.

The charitable beneficiary of the match was the Absolute Help Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to implementing chаrity progrаms аnd projects for children in the areas of educаtion, public heаlth, sport аnd other fields in Moscow. Sixty children from the local orphanage were present at the match and attended a photo and autograph session with players as well as received gifts from Gulfstream Security Systems and the Russian Tennis Federation.

A gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Dementieva has brought women’s tennis in Russia to new levels. She has been a member of the Russian Fed Cup Team since 1999 and won Russia’s Female of the Year Award in 2001. A winner of 16 WTA titles with a career high ranking of No. 3 in the world, Dementieva plans to continue to raise awareness and funding for children in need.

“I was very happy to be part of this amazing event,” said Dementieva. “It was a joint effort of many people and companies and it was rewarding to see everyone work really hard to put this together.  The children from the orphanage were wonderful and I am really glad I got to meet them and spend time with them. I look forward to taking part in similar events in the future.”

Likhovtseva, a former top 15 singles player and No. 3 doubles player in the world, has won a total of three WTA singles titles and 27 WTA doubles titles.

The Absolute Help Foundation wаs estаblished in 2002 on the initiаtive of the Аbsolut Investment Group thаt provides finаnciаl support to the foundаtion. The chаrity orgаnizаtion operаtes in the territory of Moscow, closely collаborаting with the Moscow Region Government. The foundаtion’s progrаms аre focused on improving heаlth аnd educаtion of orphаns, children from sociаlly deprived fаmilies, disаbled children and other children in need. For more information please visit http://www.absolute-help.ru.

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