Claire says: Sounds familiar

Melanie Oudin at the U.S. Open:

“I don’t actually mean to lose the first set,” she insisted. “Sometimes, I just start off slowly. Maybe I’m a little nervous. Today, my timing was off a little. But I just totally forgot about it, started off the second set like it was a new match, and I started playing better.”

Oudin won this match without serving a single ace, another indication she is not blowing anybody away with sheer power. Instead, it’s footwork, technique, precision. Mostly, though, she is thriving in pressure situations that make so many others in the sport shrink away.

“You don’t know if she’s winning or losing,” said her father, John. “She doesn’t seem nervous out there -- and I don’t know where that came from.”

Maybe it’s the shoes. They have the word “Believe” stamped on them, and it’s easy to see how those Oudin models could become top sellers in tennis shops across America soon.

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