Gritting her way through a shaky third set, 17-year-old Melanie Oudin from Marietta, Ga., pulled off her second upset of the Open on Saturday, defeating a more-seasoned and far more-famous opponent — former No. 1 Maria Sharapova. This victory coming just days after stunning No. 4 seed Elena Dementieva.
“I don’t even know what to say right now,” Oudin said, choking back tears in her postmatch interview with Mary Jo Fernandez in Arthur Ashe Stadium. “Thank you so much for cheering for me.” she said to the appreciative crowd of over 37,000 that included her boyfriend and her mom.
Sharapova, who has won the U.S. Open once, usually gets those cheers. But on this day in Queens, the fans were rooting for a new potential queen — the one who stamped the word “Believe” on her shoes and did just that.