Goodbye Melanie Oudin – See You Soon

01 Jul 2009 by Hiland in Wimbledon 2009

Melanie Oudin defeated by Aggie Radwanska in 4th round of Wimbledon 2009While all the big girls are out there today, you will be watching. You will probably hit some balls, work on that serve and be thinking about what went right and what went wrong.

Don’t you worry about it, little Melanie. As of today, you are the only professional tennis player at Wimbledon who has won six singles matches on the storied grass. While Jelena, Ana and Maria are aching, limping and soaking, you will be out hitting practice balls. That tells me something.

I know that you have seen it Melanie. Throughout your junior career, when your 5 foot 5 inch self had to play two matches a day, you saw those other competitors who were happy just to be there. The ones who would reach a certain level and then forget why they wanted it so much.

You were not one of those players at Wimbledon 2009. Thank you, Melanie. Your fourth round match was a little disappointing. But, Aggie Radwanska is a professional tennis player. She was unperturbed by the media glare surrounding you. She had a job to do and she did it. From Wimbledon 2009, that is the lesson you should learn.

Ms. Radwanska was not worried about losing to your little self. She focused on winning. She took that puny little serve of hers and made it hold up. Hey little Melanie, Aggie’s been around.

I watched every interview you took. I saw you on ESPN. I saw you acquit yourself beautifully, with sincerity, integrity and honesty, just like the way you play tennis. I like it. Your home schooling has gone well. As my mother would say, “proud to know you.” And, she would be!

I knew it would be difficult to get all that attention and then go out here on Monday and not be exhausted. It takes some players a lifetime to get comfortable with the interaction of media and tennis. I guess what I am saying is that you now need to learn how to be a superstar. Because, that is just what you are. And, we do not want any flash-in-the-pans here. We want the real deal. And, you are it.

If I were you, little Melanie, I would spend a little time with the Williams girls, especially Venus. Watch how she handles the media. Flawlessly, that’s how. Calm, low voice. Slow delivery. Somehow all the focus, all the poise comes through. Venus Williams knows how to handle the press and not be distracted. She knows how to deliver her message and keep the vultures at a distance.

You will need to learn that. And, yes, oh yes, work on the serve. So when we see you at the Open, you will have the media thing worked out and the serve a little crispier.

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Melanie Oudin, you made Wimbledon us. We will enjoy watching Victoria fend off the likes of Serena, Venus, Dinara and Elena, but we’d rather you were still in it. Thank you for every qualifier, every point, every match. You have the heart of a lioness and champion. And, you may only lose it to my son.

By the way, he’s tall, handsome and has a good job. I’ll talk to him about your tennis career. We shall see you at the U.S. Open, where you will no longer have to qualify. Just show up with the lessons of Wimbledon under you belt and play tennis, very passionately. As long as you do that, the whole world is your oyster.

Melanie you arrived a 17-year old qualifier and you leave a tennis superstar. What more could anyone ask for? Hats off to you, Miss Oudin.


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