Finally! An American King, Queen and Princess

23 Jun 2009 by Hiland in Wimbledon 2009

andy-roddickWhen it comes to American tennis, we are stretched pretty thin right now. American men have not won a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick captured the US Open in 2003. Thanks to Andy’s resurgence, we have re-born hope in every event, but even we do not like our betting chances.

This week, we think Andy is well positioned, well composed and ready for a serious run at Juan Martin del Porto to make the semifinals. Then, we shall see. In the meantime, he is King Andy. That is our position and we are sticking to it.

Granted he gave French strongman, 22-year-old Jeremy Chardy, a careless third set, but King Andy had everything in hand. With 21 aces in the two-hour match (6-3, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-3), he was in control and had Chardy out of his game from the outset. King Andy is in the mix and ready for a run. Watch out Juan Martin! Watch out Scotsman! Our King will be coming at you.

Fortunately our ladies are more highly regarded. They deserve it. Serena and Venus have the credentials, the experience, the composure and the drive to win Grand Slams. Five time Wimbledon Queen Venus is looking good, looking and acting like royalty. The queen is a good woman.

Tall, slender, fit and moving gracefully from side to side, observers will be hard pressed to find a more likely winner. In just 78 minutes the Queen put down a possible Swiss uprising with her neat 6-3, 6-2 victory over Stephanie Voeqele. It was the Queen’s 12th straight first round Wimbledon triumph.

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Our Queen may be the bookmaker’s second choice, but she looks too regal not to get a play. We think there may well be two Williams family members in the finals, so take that!

The Princess

Melanie OudinIn today’s morning matches and way back there on Court 17, something very special was happening. A Princess was born. The new 17-year-old American Princess stepped onto the court and claimed her rightful place.

As a decided underdog to pretty, fair-haired 29-year-old 26th seed, Austrian Sybille Bammer, little Melanie Oudin, who was sitting in her high school history class in Marietta Georgia three weeks ago, played to win. She played with the determination that led her to four successive junior championships last year, losing just three sets along the way. And, she played unlike a 5 foot 5 inch high school senior challenging a proven player who reached the quarters in the US Open last year and who reached the second round at Roland Garros and who has more than 100 career wins.

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Melanie Oudin played like a winner. She played like her idol, Justine Henin, and she played with the quiet determination of our greatest queen, Queen Chrissy. Thank you Melanie! We knew you could do it. We have never doubted you.

At 5 foot 5 inches, players may not expect what Melanie will show them. She makes unlikely retrieves, prolongs points and smashes winning forehand drives with a slight irreverence.

What observers like about Melanie is that the 17-year-old blonde fireplug has a plan. She understands her serve will not overpower the pros so she makes no mistakes. She rarely double faults and she pressures opposing servers by making them work extra hard. If you are going to beat Melanie, bring your running shoes, because you will be on the court for a bit.

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By the way, persons approaching our new Princess should pronounce her name oo-dan. As in oo-la-la! She’s a handful, our little princess. She’ll bubble you to death. Exuberant, joyful, bouncy, pretty, blonde and so very young. Off the court, Melanie is all joy. On the court, watch out. The Princess is all business.

When Melanie chose tennis, she chose it with purpose. The petite Georgian decided that if she would play, she would be good at it. That is good, as in successful, not as in also-ran.

She has been home schooled since the seventh grade. She intends to practice medicine, a noble pursuit and she intends to win big tennis matches. On June 23rd, little Melanie Oudin, official Princess of American tennis, won our hearts and the biggest match of her career. Way to go Melanie!

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Now, Melanie, what will you do for us next? Will you rest on your laurels? Or, Princess, will you take it to the next level and outrun, outhustle and outgun 21-year old Muscovite, Yarolslava Shedova, a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Monica Nicolescu?

Once again, you will be the shortest player on the court. You will be the youngest player on the court. You will be an underdog, but you know what? You can do it! That’s is what American Princesses do. They win unexpected matches and move on to the third round. Then, we shall see. Okay Princess? See you in two days. Nice one, baby. Nice one! You make us proud!


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