After struggling to live up to expectations that had been heaped on to her after her US Open quarter final run, American Melanie Oudin has returned to the spotlgiht by winning her first career title at the WTA event in Birmingham.
Oudin beat former world no 1 Jelena Jankovic, who has been struggling herself of late, 64, 6-2. Oudin came through the qualifying draw to win this event.
"One of the worst times was after Wimbledon last year," Oudin commented. "It was the end of my Europe trip and I think I lost every match. I lost first round in like five or six tournaments, except for one. I felt horrible. I thought for sure things would be better. I took time off after that and was fresh and ready to go, but things still weren't better. I was waiting for something to happen and it didn't. But at the US Open in 2009, and Wimbledon that year too, something came out of nowhere. And it felt like that was going to happen again here."
"Even my first round qualifying match, the tie-break was 11-9 or something. I had a lot of three-setters and was so close to losing other sets too, but I felt I was getting better and better each match. And I didn't want to get excited about any of the wins this week, because I wanted to keep it going."
"I played smart today . I'd hit one shot then hit a totally different shot like a slice or drop shot. I also held my ground well and used her pace. She's really consistent but by doing all that I got her to make some errors. I don't think she served as well as she did yesterday, but I'll take it.
"I've learned a lot about my game, how I want to play, how to play within myself and not trying to do more than I can. That's what I did really well all week."
"I knew the only way I would get a wildcard was if I did really well here - but I wasn't even going to think about it I didn't want to put any pressure on myself. I just wanted to play - if I got the wildcard, great. If I didn't, I'd go home and train then play the US hardcourt series. I was okay either way.
"I'll be celebrating all of this for sure, though. But now I'm going to Eastbourne, not to play, but to train with Christina McHale for next week."
Oudin moves to no 122 in the latest WTA rankings after this win.