Oudin is Outie
It was a close match between Melanie Oudin and #9 Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday night. Ok, well maybe it wasn’t close… Not even close, actually. In straight sets, Danish tennis prodigy Wozniacki defeated Oudin 6-2, 6-2 and is now headed to the Semi-finals.
This is perhaps where being an underdog can come at an extreme disadvantage. Relative inexperience in pressure-cooker tournaments can cause too many unforced errors. Oudin struggled with her own game, allowing 43 unforced errors. This was more than twice as many as Wozniacki had during the match. She never got off on the right foot, as Wozniacki took the first 3 games of the first set.
From an outsider’s standpoint, I’d like to take a stab at why Oudin lost. She did not play like a professional. Period. After losing points, she took long pauses by the wall with her hands on her hips, sluggishly grabbing at new tennis balls from the ball people (er, whatever they’re called). She did not hold her composure, and had frequent looks of dejection. Now, granted, if I were in her shoes, I’d be on the floor panting for breath after the first 5 minutes. If I made it longer than that, I’d be swinging my racket and getting nothin’ but air as Wozniaki’s back-handed shot curved past me. If I STILL were left on the court, I may just throw my racket on the ground, pull all my hair out, and run to the locker rooms. But seriously, for a teenager, Oudin probably did what should’ve been expected of her. She played hard, got frustrated with herself, and ultimately lost.
There is no doubt that she’ll come back for next year’s Australian Open with a new sense of composure. After seeing Oudin stifle some of the top tennis stars in this year’s Wimbledon and US Open, I am excited to see how she improves for next year. Until then, congratulations Oudin for your great play. I’m Ouda here.