Racquet Reaction - Fed Cup: Oudin d. Schiavone
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Fed Cup: Oudin d. Schiavone 11/07/2010 - 5:46 PM

Mo Over the years, I've heard a lot of Italian and French players talk about wine in their post-match press conferences, particularly after a big win.

Maybe Francesca Schiavone, who won the opening match of the Fed Cup final yesterday in San Diego, had a few too many glasses last night?

I kid, but it's one of the only explanations I can come up with to explain this afternoon's debacle. Schiavone was a model of consistency Saturday against CoCo Vandeweghe, but she was anything but today against Melanie Oudin, who totally outclassed the Italian in a 6-3, 6-1 rout. Schiavone's serve was a major liability—she was broken six times—and her groundstrokes were just as poor. In all, Schiavone hit 34 unforced errors to a paltry eight winners.

Odder still may be the play of Oudin, who hadn't beaten a Top 10 player this year and was passed on yesterday in favor of the rookie Vandeweghe. Apparently, the American saved her best for last. Oudin's slap forehand—you remember those from the '09 Open, right?—was back, she used the crowd to her advantage, and she showed few signs of nerves, both at the onset and when she was comfortably ahead. That was an important juncture, midway through the second set—I was waiting for Schiavone to make a late charge, but it never happened.

If Flavia Pennetta can take care of Vandeweghe, Italy can forget this ever happened. But if a full-on collapse is in the cards, this was the first domino to fall, and it fell hard.

—Ed McGrogan

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Posted by tennyrunners 11/07/2010 at 06:00 PM

Go Oudin!!

Posted by Great Job 11/07/2010 at 06:19 PM


Posted by tennyrunners 11/07/2010 at 06:29 PM

Yea go USA!

Posted by Pierric Bross 11/07/2010 at 06:38 PM

Wow I'm stunned so much by this. Schiavone can be inconsistent, but it isn't bad enough to lose to the type of player Oudin had been the whole year - one not good enough to be in the top 100. But she absolutly blitzed it, and showed us how she got to the USopen quarters last year for sure. So stunned, great work too :) If Oudin's done anything, it's shored up her spot as a regular in fed cup regardless of how she's performed in matches.

Posted by carol callahan 11/07/2010 at 06:52 PM

Today Schiavone encountered a player who could play. Yesterday was a gimmee: thank you Mary Joe. Next time bring some players who can play to the finals, if you ever get there again. Poor captaincy IMO

Posted by ZaneyFrom St.Lucia 11/07/2010 at 09:28 PM


Posted by Northernboy 11/07/2010 at 10:52 PM

Oudin feeds off the energy of the crowd, certainly did at last year's USO. It was a collosal mistake to put Coco in in place of Melanie.

Mattek Sands made a valiant effort last night but oh well.

Of course the real crime here was leaving Vania King, who won 2 Grand Slam titles and made the YECs, off this team.

Posted by tennyrunners 11/07/2010 at 11:39 PM

I agree where was Vania? She is a pretty good singles player but she definitely should have been there for doubles!

I am very happy for Melanie... hopefully she can turn this into success on tour next year.

Posted by Master Ace 11/08/2010 at 09:53 AM

I would not say putting Coco in over Melanie was not a mistake by Mary Joe. Coco was playing better tennis since the USO than Melanie. Since Charleston, Melanie has not won consecutive matches except at Quebec City. Also, Melanie has been out for a while with her back(per WTA notes and netcords when she missed a tournament that she was scheduled to play). Overall, some people said Mary Joe made a mistake in not playing Melanie. Only reason Melanie played against Francesca on Sunday was because Bethanie cramping up or got injured in her match against Flavia on Saturday. Now, if Mary Joe would have selected Melanie for her second player instead of Coco, I believe Francesca still would have won on Saturday. I believe Francesca was not focused and not prepared for what Melanie can bring. Yesterday was the best I seen Melanie play since she played Elena in Paris.

Posted by M.J. 11/08/2010 at 10:50 AM

As someone who was hopeful of good things from this young American after the '09 Open, I have to wonder why can't Oudin play like this all of the time. Maybe she should preted that the crowds all around the world are cheering for her and that she's been slighted in some way, anything for some proper motivation. I remember at the AO this year Oudin was outplaying her low-ranked Russian opponent (can't remember her name, the girl who beat Sharapova at Wimbledon not long ago), but when she got close to closing out the match in the 2nd set she seemed to just run out of focus and motivation. It was like her intensity just fell away and she found herself in a losing 3rd set instead of easily making it into the 2nd round.

Posted by M.J. 11/08/2010 at 10:52 AM


*Kudryatsovoa (sp?) was the player's name.

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