Friday, September 04, 2009

Melanie Oudin: "Believe"

“I think she’s very talented. She was in the court and not afraid to play. She was playing very aggressively, really enjoying this atmosphere, you know, the crowd support and really going for the winners.”

--Elena Dementieva, who lost to Melanie Oudin in an upset in the second round of the U.S. Open. Dementieva is still seeking her first Grand Slam title.

To help with motivation, Oudin has "Believe" written on her tennis shoes. After reaching the fourth round as a qualifier, she upset the former No. 1 player in the world, Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Oudin, from Marietta, Georgia, continues to excel at the U. S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday by upsetting No. 4 seed Elena Dementieva, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, in the second round. She moves on the the third round to play Maria Sharapova.

The “Believe” message on Oudin’s shoes was her boyfriend's idea. Austin Smith, 15, is with her in New York. He said Oudin did not want to follow the lead of other pros by putting her name or nickname on her shoes.

“For me, it’s all about that,” Oudin said. “It’s believing that I can beat these girls.”

Excerpts from the New York Times, September 4, 2009.

For more on Peak Performance, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.
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