No I’m not really. In fact I’m not happy about this loss at all. In fact it was quite frustrating to watch the way Oudin pissed the match away against her slightly pot-bellied opponent. But it was far more frustrating having to listen to Mary Jo Fernandez et al carry on as if Oudin was the fricking Second Coming. They were so far up Oudin’s ass they seemed at times to forgot that there were other Americans also playing tennis.
Not that there weren’t other non-Americans also playing scintillating tennis in Australia, but I’ve long ago given up any hope of American commentators paying any attention to non-American players. Of course the big guns will always be the exception to this rule and for that I am happy. I know that I will always get to see Federer and Nadal, and now Henin and Clijsters. No complaints here - these are all players whom I love to watch. But when Vania King comes back from 1-5 in the third set to win the match against a seeded player, I would have expected that to be a bigger story than Melanie Oudin.
But no. We were treated to every moment of Oudin’s painfully stupid loss. It wasn’t only shown, it then had to be analyzed, discussed, rehashed, and practically mourned. And then one of the commentators noted in closing that the American women were not faring so well.
Actually, there are a few American women who are fairing just fine. Their names are Venus and Serena. And Vania King, who played a much tougher opponent (Dominika Cibulkova, seeded 23), and came back from 1-5 in the third to win. She closed out the third set 7-5, which means that Cibulkova did not win another game. Now that is a star story. That is the story I would have expected to headline the commentary. That is the post-match interview I would have expected to see. I would have expected Vania to be given pride of place in the commentators’ box (not Terrell Owens, steups).
But I saw nothing of Vania. I don’t know how she won that match. But I heard excuse after excuse being made for Oudin. She is so young. Her coach is busy making notes so she will learn from this experience. Her mother seems so relaxed so maybe everything will be OK. She can still come back from here, she’s done it before. Remember her run at the US Open? Remember the seeds she beat? Remember how good she was, how talented? How she believed?
Yes, I do. Because I was there, also rooting for her. And since Oudin is ranked 48, I would have expected her to have no difficulty dispatching the slightly pot-bellied Alla Kudryavtseva, ranked 88. In fact, Oudin had no less than four match points in the second set, all of which she squandered. And it’s not as if the slightly pot-bellied one was doing anything special. In fact she was playing mostly crap, although she did improve her game in the third set. And yes Oudin did come back from 1-4 in the third. But she lost. Coming back isn’t good enough. You have to do like Vania King and translate the come-back into a win.
Meantime, on Court 6, Shenay Perry, currently ranked 107, was taking on the former #1, Ana Ivanovic. And they were playing on Margaret Court Arena, a show court. Did I hear any love coming from the commentators for Shenay? Not a drop. Throughout the Oudin match they plied us with suggestions of what Oudin could do to win the match. They were practically willing her to win. But Shenay was treated as a lost cause. And the truth is, if you watched the match, Shenay definitely had her chances. Ivanovic played so poorly I would be shocked if she gets past Gisela Dulko in the next round.
And did you know that Jill Craybas also flew to Australia? Yes she did. But I swear she was invisible. She lost to Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic who will next be facing Serena Williams. I hope that the commentators remember that Serena is also American, and deserving of some love. And I hope that they will once and for all stop talking about the damn incident at the US Open. Yes Serena was wrong. Yes, so was the lines-woman. One woman got punished. The other still has her job. Moving right along. There’s life after New York. And Oudin.