American teenagers Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock played 65 minutes of unbelievable tennis last night to win the U.S. Open mixed doubles title, beating eighth-seeded Gisela Dulko and Eduardo Schwank of Argentina in a tiebreak.
After beating the best mixed doubles team in the world, Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan, in the first round Oudin and Sock went on to win the championship 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-8 (tiebreak) at Arthur Ashe Stadium after the men’s singles quarterfinals.
“Worked really well because he jokes a lot when we’re playing and he keeps me relaxed, and sometimes that’s what I have been having trouble with, is staying relaxed playing,” Oudin said. “Then I’m very positive, so that helps him.”
It’s quite unbelievable what this young pair have accomplished. And winning their first Grand Slam together, Sock and Oudin almost looked like a high school couple on a first date.
They had never played together before and needed a wild card to even get in the tournament.
Sock, the 18-year-old tennis sensation who went 80-0 in singles competition during his high school career at Blue Valley North, including four individual state championships and three successive team titles, is playing in his second U.S. Open. He won a junior title in boys singles at last year’s Open, then earned his first Grand Slam singles victory in the first round this year before being eliminated by fellow Husker Andy Roddick.
The 19-year-old Oudin was the darling of the 2009 U.S. Open, reaching the women’s quarterfinals. Though she’s struggled to find consistency since, she’s seems to have her mojo back.
The Americans took a 8-5 lead in the tiebreak thanks to back-to-back mistakes by their opponents. Schwank hit a volley wide, then Dulko double-faulted.
Things got wild after Oudin and Sock earned triple match point. Schwank’s first serve was ruled out; he challenged and the call stood. His second serve glanced off the tape and was also ruled out, which would have been a match-ending double-fault. He challenged again, and this time the call was overturned.
Schwank was awarded a first serve, then easily won the next two points on his serve to pull within 9-8, leaving Sock to try to serve out the match.
Sock said landed a big first serve, and Schwank’s popped-up return carried just long. A final review confirmed that it was indeed out, putting an end to the dramatic match.
The $150,000 prize will surely allow them to have a fun night out on the town in New York.
Congratulations to both Sock and Oudin – who clearly have promising careers ahead of them.