Pro Tennis

Oudin claims USTA French Open wild card

May 7, 2012 02:15 PM
Melanie Oudin poses with Boyd Tinsley after winning the Charlottesville singles title.
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USTA Player Development announced that Melanie Oudin has earned a main-draw wild card into the 2012 French Open.

This year, the USTA awarded one women’s singles main-draw wild card into the French Open to the American who earned the most WTA Tour Ranking points at two of three $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events—Dothan, Ala.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. Oudin earned a combined 80 points with her best two results, winning the title in Charlottesville and reaching the second round in both Dothan and Indian Harbour Beach.

The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2012 French and US Opens are exchanged.

Oudin, who has been working with USTA coaches since October and training at the USTA Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center since February, secured the wild card on Sunday when Grace Min defeated former USC standout Maria Sanchez in the Indian Harbour Beach final. Min, the 2011 US Open girls’ singles champion, was Oudin’s doubles partner last week.

Oudin entered Charlottesville ranked No. 370 in the world -- her lowest ranking since February 2008 -- and has now climbed to No. 270 after her results from the past three USTA Pro Circuit events.

Oudin, 20, of Atlanta, burst onto the tennis scene in 2009, beating three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova en route to the US Open quarterfinals and defeating former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Oudin also claimed the mixed doubles title at the 2011 US Open with countryman Jack Sock. The two upset defending champions Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber in the second round to become the first teenage pair in the Open Era to win the US Open mixed doubles. She peaked at No. 32 in the world in singles in April 2010 and has been a consistent force on the U.S. Fed Cup team.

This was the first time that the USTA awarded a wild card into a Grand Slam event based on results from the USTA Pro Circuit, rather than a traditional wild-card playoff tournament. With this format, players competed in more matches to develop their games on clay and were also given the opportunity to earn valuable ranking points, whereas the previous playoffs did not offer points. This format also allowed all Americans a chance of earning the wild card, rather than a limited field/draw.

Brian Baker earned the men’s USTA French Open wild card last week.
 
WOMEN’S USTA FRENCH OPEN WILD CARD STANDINGS – FINAL
 
Player Name
Dothan
$50K
Charlottesville
$50K
Ind. Harbour
Beach $50K
Best Two
Results
1. Melanie Oudin
10
70
10
80
2. Maria Sanchez
1
18
50
68
T3. Julia Cohen
32
32
1
64
T3. Lauren Davis
32
10
32
64
 
*The women’s wild card was awarded from the best combined results in two of the three events above.
 

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