Midnight strikes: Wozniacki ends Oudin’s Cinderella run
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:41
Melanie Oudin’s giant-killing run at the US Open is over after the American was beaten 6-2 6-2 by fellow teenager and No.9 seed Caroline Wozniacki.
The American 17-year-old had beaten four higher-ranked Russians on her way to the quarter-finals, including No.4 seed Elena Dementieva, former champion Maria Sharapova and 13th-seeded Nadia Petrova. But the 19-year-old Dane proved to be an upset too far.
With the win, Wozniacki became the first Danish player to reach a grand slam semi-final, having equaled 1978 Australian Open women’s quarter-finalist Dorte Ekners achievement. She is also ensured a career-high ranking of No.7 in the world on Monday after ten straight victories.
Oudin, who made 43 unforced errors to Wozniackis 20, surrendered the first set tamely, but with a 6-1 record after dropping the first set in grand slam matches there were few who wrote her off at that stage.
But the Dane thwarted Oudins trademark second-set resurgence, rescuing two break points in game three and two more in game five for a 3-2 lead.
“I knew they were very important moments,” Wozniacki said. “Maybe before I would break down, throw my racket. I told myself I have to not show any emotions because if I do that it will help Melanie.”
Wozniacki didnt drop another game, breaking Oudin for a 4-2 lead when the Americans forehand clipped the net cord and landed wide and again to seal the match, closing out the win in 90 minutes.
“Today was a really tough match,” an ecstatic Wozniacki said afterwards. “Melanie had such a great run and she played an amazing tournament so I’m just going to enjoy this match.
“The next match I have nothing to lose. I mean, I’m in the semi-final of a grand slam.”
There she will meet another unseeded teenager, Belgiums Yanina Wickmayer. In the midst of Oudins Cinderella run to the quarters, the world No.50s progress through the draw had dipped below the radar until yesterdays 7-5 6-4 quarter-final victory over Kateryna Bondarenko.
It was far from plain sailing for Wickmayer, whose victory means that, with compatriot Kim Clijsters in the other semi-final, there are two unseeded semi-finalists at the US open for the first time.
She was broken when serving for the first set at 5-4, only to break straight back and clinch the set at the second time of asking. Bondarenko responded by racing to a 4-1 lead in the second set, but did not win another game as Wickmayer stormed back.
“I missed a few opportunities,” Wickmayer said. “I was pretty mad at myself but I kept on fighting, kept hanging in there and I was able to come back.”
“Even if I had a break point she didn’t give me a chance to win it. She just played unbelievable. When she was break point down she kept hitting winners,” Bondarenko admitted. “I don’t think I was too nervous but for sure I was nervous a little bit.”