Women’s fourth seed Elena Dementieva became the first big-name casualty of the 2009 US Open when American teenager Melanie Oudin claimed another grand slam scalp today.
Oudin, 18 later this month, had caused a shock at Wimbledon earlier this summer when she knocked out Jelena Jankovic in the third round and the world number 70 added the 2008 Olympic champion to her list of victims at Arthur Ashe Stadium with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 upset victory.
Having allowed Oudin to level the match at 1-1, Olympic champion Dementieva quickly allowed the American to take the initiative in the final set when the Russian’s serve was broken in the second game.
Dementieva broke straight back and as the players took a break at the change of ends, Oudin called for a trainer to receive a medical timeout for treatment to her left thigh, which had been bandaged.
Returning to play with the thigh now heavily wrapped, Oudin showed no ill effects as she sent over a cross-court forehand winner to earn double break point and she took the game at the first opportunity when Dementieva sent a forehand long.
There was another twist at 15-0 in the first game, when Oudin suddenly clutched her thigh and winced in apparent pain as she prepared to serve but she continued to huge cheers from the Ashe crowd.
Oudin, though, could not prevent Dementieva earning two break points and though she saved the first of them, a forehand down the line curved out of play and the initiative was lost once more.
The American received more treatment at the next break and when play resumed it was once again the server who got into trouble as Oudin earned double break point.
She netted a baseline forehand with the first opportunity but got the vital breakthrough when she finished a long rally with an overhead winner to go 4-2 up.
With the crowd firmly behind the American and roaring with approval every time she won a point, Oudin held serve to leave Dementieva needing a hold to save the match.
No treatment was necessary in the following changeover as a pumped up Oudin returned to her seat while Dementieva remained outwardly calm. It got her safely through the game but left Oudin serving for the match and the American quickly gave herself triple match point.
The fourth seed saved the first two in clinical fashion but then Oudin sent down a big serve wide to the Russian’s backhand and the netted return sparked loud celebrations as the American booked her ticket to the third round.