While tennis is dominated by guys names “Federer” and “Nadal” and women named “Safina” and “Sharapova,” it’s been an American teenager who has turned heads this week at the US Open.
17-year-old Melanie Oudin has held her own against the stars, going on an unprecedented run to the quarterfinals, knocking off big-name opponents such as Elena Dementieva, the aforementioned Maria Sharapova, and Nadia Petrova.
Oudin, a native of Marietta Georgia, has been a comeback kid, winning all three matches after dropping the first set. In doing so, she became the youngest American tennis player to reach the quarterfinals since Serena Williams did so in 1999.
Not bad for a girl that’s not even old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes. So for keeping American pride at our own tennis championship, Melanie Oudin is this week’s Athlete of the Week.