Saturday, September 05, 2009

Quote For The Day

"If I can keep playing like this, I can get as high as anything,"--Melanie Oudin on revisiting her goals or reaching the top 100 after outlasting Miss 100% on Arthur Ashe.

19 comments:

Karen said...

Belief, belief, belief. You have to have it. Does not matter if you are ranked no. 1 or 1000. As long as you go into a match believing that you can win, at some point in time, you will win. Congratulations Melanie. You did awesome. Never gave up. Never slowed down. Amazing that she started playing tennis after seeing Serena and Venus and decided that she wanted to play. Says she admires Justine Henin because she was so small but able to accomplish so much. Her footwork is just absolutely remarkable. That forehand is on fire. Good show Oudin, good show.

kraa said...

Why do you call her Miss 100%, craig? I hadn't seen that nickname before...

Congrats to Melanie! Maria is a much diminished version of her former self, though.

Dapxin said...

where anything == "beat the next portrait across the net"

right?

I love this girl. [i]and I havent even seen her [\i]

pompelmo said...

Oudin played great but she should keep her feet on the ground. She lost more than half her serve games. Her second serve is a joke. Most of her opponents will not make 20+ double faults and hand out the games. She is not there yet.

Helen W said...

I agree pompelmo. I'm no Sharapova fan, but I have to admit that she is a mere shadow of her former self. And to her credit, she hung in there to the end as well.

That being said, Melanie has guts and that's something that's hard to learn. She can work on her serve -- she's only 17. It will be fun watching her develop.

Craig Hickman said...

Oudin revealed an effective first serve on a few key points, but she couldn't go to it with any consistency. Her second serve is nothing, though, and she ought to never hit it.

While she may not yet be there, her attitude makes up for the weaknesses in her technique.

She outlasted Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova after being down a set and a break and breaks in the third set.

Elena may not have won a Slam but she's a champion. An Olympic Gold makes her one.

A 17-year-old upstart without a second serve beat two champions back-to-back at a Grand Slam.

As Helen said, you can't teach that.

Craig Hickman said...

kraa, I call her that because she said her shoulder was 100% before the summer hardcourt series.

It was then the media started pumping her chances at the USO.

Funny thing happened on the way, though. They started using her shoulder as an excuse for her losses.

I take her at her word. And since she's 100%, she's losing matches because of her brain, not her shoulder.

I think her mind is elsewhere. To me, she's going through the motions, her habitual fight notwithstanding. She's on court to please sponsors, not herself.

Helen W said...

Interesting observation Craig. I've never been a Sharapova fan, in part because I hate having someone stuffed down my throat the way TPTB have forced her onto my conscious by painting her as *the* face of women's tennis. As a result of which, I have also lost interest in women's tennis. Her shrieking is also a total turnoff to me.

That being said, I have to admire the way she fights to the end. But I think you are right -- she still fights to the end because that's who she is, but she seems to have lost her tennis soul, so to speak. Maybe being used as the face of women's tennis cost her big time too.

edma1022 said...

Hey guys, a bit of OT. I was at the grounds today with my son, Keith. Attended the TAT Tailgate, too. (Keith always takes the group photo every year).

We were lounging around the practice courts (saw Venus, Serena, the Bryans, Mopey Murray, Robin the Sod, etc.). We wanted to catch Fed and get an autograph, but alas no joy (that's the 3rd year in a row I failed to see him). But guess what? A famous Spaniard strolled out and practiced with a blond youngster on Court 4 (or 5 I think, all the P courts are booked). So we stayed and watched him.

Rafa hits the ball extremely hard. Even on practice. You can literally see the fuzz fly when the racquet strikes the ball. Very very focused. I was wondering about that since he's going to be up against a fellow Spaniard who kneels to his feet in awe every time.

Anyways, Keith got Rafa to sign our printed Ticketmaster copy.

Any takers?

(Just kidding. I told Keith it's worth a million dollars someday. Rafa's going to have a tremendous impact on this sport before he goes away).

Karen, after watching Rafa strike those balls, I'm thinking of crossing to the other side. Will you still be my friend?

Ed

Craig Hickman said...

Maybe being used as the face of women's tennis cost her big time too.

::

I bet it has. And I would imagine that's why she gave Larry Scott the finger before he retired.

oddman said...

Cross over edma... it's just a small step.

;)

Karen said...

Edma, I dont think I will ever cross over but I have to say that a lot of the younger guys are beginning to catch my eye. There will never be a player that I love and admire as much as I love and admire Roger. The Hobbling Spaniard has truly taken a hold of me. Dont know if I will ever cheer for him but I like his fight and the way he guts out matches. I also love the fact that he is quite disarming when he smiles and I think that is what is getting me these days. That and Novak's eyes and smile. The fellow has the most beautiful eyes and smile I have seen on a man in a long time. Gorgeousness indeed. I see that Safina finally got put out of her misery. Only fitting that it would end in a tie break.

pompelmo said...

Craig, I didn't say anything negative about Oudin. But if Melanie thinks that sky is the limit as long as she plays like that, she is mistaken. She put up a good fight but Sharapova lost on her own. Full credit for the Demetieva match though, and there is a nice chance that a new champion is coming up.

Btw, the top half now looks like a WTA 250 event. I guess Dinara being out doesn't even make news.

b said...

I love Oudin's game and her attitude.... Funny she claims her game is patterned after Justine - it doesn't resemble much, besides easy movement...... She really reminds me of Jankovic....

So unusual for an american to have developed a game

Hard to believe she's only 17 - she has PLENTY of time to improve in the areas that are lacking (serve etc)..... More important than her poor serve is that, as Craig noticed, she is able to dial in a powerful/effective first serve when under pressure

Interesting comment Craig.... Maybe she would do well to emulate Justine in using 2 1st serves....


As far as sharapova is concerned I found the result fairly unsurprising..... her game is not working that well and really has relied heavily on competitiveness and intimidation..... I do agree w- Craig's theory about her just fulfilling obligations..... Noticed it from when she was "backdating" her injuries early 2007 and also her father telling l'equipe that the serving problem was not mechanical but rather the result of a "voodoo hex" by the williams family (yes he did say that)....

How long do you think it will take for the 100% to be revised? Will it be mono? a new shoulder problem? exotic illness? any guesses?

Craig Hickman said...

Whenever I'm reminded of the voodoo hex comment, I break out in gut-busting laughter.

Welcome back, b.

Craig Hickman said...

pompelmo, I was just providing my analysis of Oudin's game at this point. There's a lot about her game that is negative, even though you just pointed out she's not quite there yet. I completely understand.

b said...

thanks craig..... glad you enjoyed it.... never acutally intended to be away (sigh)

karim said...

An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

Thanks,
Karim - Positive thinking

karim said...

Very thoughtfull post on belief .It should be very much helpfull.

Thanks,
Karim - Creating Power