News & Features
Oudin Soars to No. 4 in the World after Stellar Autumn
by Colette Lewis
, 20 December 2007
Back in September, Melanie Oudin needed a wild card to participate in the main draw of the U.S. Open Junior Championships. Three months later the 16-year-old from Marietta, Ga. occupies the No. 4 spot in the ITF World Junior rankings, having reeled off 27 straight junior victories. How does Oudin explain the surge?
"I've always been trying to do the right things," says Oudin, whose footwork and forehand are the foundations of her game. "I've just been missing. My game is becoming more complete - my backhand was weak in the beginning of the year and through the summer, and it's definitely improved a lot. I'm using it as more of a weapon."
The 5-foot-5 1/2-inch right-hander has been tutored by Brian deVilliers of the deVilliers-Stafford International Academy for seven years, after she and twin sister Catherine were introduced to the game by their grandmother, Joann Robertson.
"She used to go out there with her bucket of balls and feed us, and we'd play Australian doubles - Catherine and me against her."
When their progress suggested advanced training, the Oudins turned to deVilliers.
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