Oudin Gets Wimbledon Draw
The former East Cobber is coming off her first WTA title heading into the prestigious Grand Slam event in England.
Melanie Oudin's timing couldn't be better.
The young East Cobb woman's comeback reached a new high last week as she won her first tournament title on the Women's Tennis Association tour.
It was a Wimbledon tune-up in Birmingham, England, as the 20-year-old Oudin defeated Jelena Jankovic, formerly the No. 1 player in the world, in the finals.
In hoisting the champions' trophy, Oudin sported a Santa hat. But she's got even greater reason to celebrate the victory, which earned Oudin a wild-card spot in Wimbledon, which begins Monday in London. In her first round match, Oudin will play Timea Babos of Hungary.
After reaching the U.S. Open quarterfinals in 2009, Oudin slipped out of the rankings -- and the tennis radar -- in equally dramatic fashion. She said the lowest point of her career came after Wimbledon last year, prompting time away from the game to reflect and revive her game:
"I was waiting for something to happen and it didn't . . . I've learned a lot about my game, how I want to play, how to play within myself and not trying to do more than I can."
Since then, Oudin has devoted herself to a vigorous comeback regimen both in her Florida home and in New York, earning praise from tennis great Chris Evert:
"One thing about Melanie is that she never lost that look in her eyes, even when she was losing first round in $50,000 tournaments. She was in that gym for hours, on the practice court for hours, and she never lost that look of determination on the court. I think that really helped her get through all the adversity."