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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oudin Named to Fed Cup Team; Christian Wins Wild Card Tournament for Rancho Mirage Challenger

Melanie Oudin is one of four players named to the U.S. Fed Cup team that plays Argentina in Surprize, Arizona on February 7th and 8th. This is Oudin's Fed Cup debut, although she did serve as a practice partner as a 15-year-old back in July of 2007 when the U.S. took on Russia in Vermont. Bethanie Mattek, Jill Craybas and Liezel Huber are the other four members of the team, with the Williams sisters declining to participate according to this Associated Press story.

Steve Pratt, whom I've worked with at the Easter Bowl, Carson and the U.S. Open, is the media director for next week's $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Rancho Mirage, and today he passed along this story about the wild card "opportunity" tournament, won by 17-year-old Kaitlyn Christian of Orange, California, who earned a main draw wild card with the victory.

In Tarbes, the U.S. has three girls and two boys still contending for the prestigious Les Petits As titles. Sachia Vickery, Brooke Austin and Vicky Duval advanced today, as did Joe DiGiulio and Luca Corinteli. Austin got a walkover, Duval won 6-1, 6-2 and Vickery and DiGuilio shutout their opponents. Only Corinteli had a close match, coming back for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win. For complete draws, including doubles, see the Les Petits As website.

The heat has caused havoc in the junior championships in Melbourne, with play being suspended with several of the quarterfinal singles matches undecided. Top seeds Yuki Bhambri and Julen Uriquen did manage to post wins before the heat rule suspended play, as did No. 7 seed Adrien Puget, but the fourth semifinalist is unknown, with Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas of Germany up a set on 15th seed Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Chinese Taipei. Girls top seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn rolled over unseeded Anna Orlik, and Laura Robson assured a Wimbledon final rematch with Lercheewakarn when No. 4 seed Elena Bogdan retired 6-3, 2-5. Bogdan was serving, up 30-0 and needing only two points to end the set, which would have suspended the match. The BBC is reporting (they do live text updates from the Australian Open) that Bogdan turned her ankle. No. 3 seed Ksenia Pervak and No. 9 seed Heather Watson had begun their second set before the heat rule was invoked, and Pervak came from a break down in the second to finish it in two 6-3, 7-5. No. 2 seed Ana Bogdan of Romania leads No. 7 seed Kristina Mladenovic of France by a set in their quarterfinal. None of the scheduled doubles were played on Wednesday, so they still have quarterfinals to play. Christina McHale, who is playing with Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic, is the only U.S. player still in doubles. See the Australian Open website for draws.


lynn said...

I was just sitting here thinking, "I wonder what's up with all the jrs and the heat at AO. I'll bet Colette knows...."

Sure enough, I was right! Thanks for the update. :-)

I hope they're able to finish up okay. The sitch is supposed to be bad for a time.

Plotinus said...

And Julen Uriguen is proving that his recent results were no fluke.

Isn't this yet another Pat Harrison success story?

AndrewD said...


On the topic of the heat at the Australian Open (or any of the majors) there's one question I would love to have answered by a well-credentialled coach like Harold Solomon. Quite simply, 'Why are you allowing players competing in extreme heat to wear singlets, crews and any other manner of tops which offer absolutely no protection for the back of the neck?'

I thought it was common knowledge that one of the easiest ways to get sun stroke was through sun directed onto the nape of the neck. Despite that, I can't think of one player in the junior event (of any nationality) who was wearing anything that afforded even the slightest bit of protection to that area. To me, that's just wilful negligence on the part of the players and coaches.

AndrewD said...


Forgot to mention that yes, Bogdan did turn/twist her ankle and that was the reason why she retired.

I didn't exactly see how she did it but the injury occurred while she was leading 5-2 and 30-0 in the second set (think I've got those scores correct). Looked particularly bad. She took an injury time out then tried to continue on but her ankle couldn't take the strain. I then believe the trainer/doctor (?) ruled her unfit to continue and she was forced to retire. Someone said that she wanted to play on in order to force a third set which would have been delayed due to the heat rule. That may have been the case but she couldn't move so a few hours rest weren't going to be of any use. Sensible move to stop her playing and risk further injury. I also thought it was good to take the decision out of her hands. As a child you don't quite see the long-term ramifications of injury and, at times, it's best for an adult to step in and say 'enough'.

As to the heat - it has been the hottest week in Melbourne in over 100 years. In other words, a complete and utter anomaly.