The Belief Is Back
Published February 12, 2010 12:00
PARIS, France - She had a tough few months after her dream run at the US Open, barely making a dent on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and having two first round losses to kick off 2010. But after a strong performance in Fed Cup on the weekend, Melanie Oudin has been even better in Paris, and on Friday rallied to a three set quarterfinal win at the Open GDF SUEZ.
Oudin, who dropped a total of seven games in her first two wins at the Premier-level tournament, looked down and out against Agnes Szavay, trailing 62 31 against a player who had been to the final here before. But she found that extra gear and turned it around with some trademark forehands and scrappy play, fighting back to win, 26 64 62. Highlights: Oudin vs. Szavay
"I've always been a good fighter. The US Open helped me a lot, being down a set in each of my matches," Oudin said. "She gave me a couple of free points in the second set and then I started playing better and got more aggressive."
Next for Oudin is a familiar face in Elena Dementieva. Dementieva, the No.1 seed this week and a victim of Oudin during the American's run in New York, pulled off her own comeback win, surging back from 63 20 down to beat Andrea Petkovic, 36 64 62. Highlights: Dementieva vs. Petkovic
"We had never played before but I watched her against Rezai yesterday and she was playing well," Dementieva said. "She really had nothing to lose. She went for her shots and took a lot of risks. To turn it around I really needed to be aggressive and once I started doing that I was able to take control."
Oudin beat Dementieva in the second round of the US Open, 57 64 63, arguably the biggest upset of the first week there. It is the pair's only previous meeting.
"Tathiana and I are friends and spend time together outside of tennis, so playing her isn't so easy," Pennetta said. "But when you get on the court you have to be concentrated. You have to forget there's a friend on the other side of the net. I was able to handle it better." Highlights: Pennetta vs. Garbin
"I really enjoy this tournament," said Safarova, a finalist to Nadia Petrova here in 2007. "I have very good memories from 2007 and I was excited to come back here. I really like the city as well. It's a big tournament and I would like to keep playing this well in the future." Highlights: Safarova vs. Peer
Safarova beat Pennetta in the pair's only previous meeting, 63 64, in the final of Gold Coast four years ago. The tournament is now held in Brisbane.