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U.S. Open: Melanie Oudin not as good second time around

September 1, 2010 |  3:59 pm

For a few moments Wednesday at the U.S. Open it felt like 2009 for Melanie Oudin. She was fighting back from a first-set loss to a higher-seeded opponent, pumping her fists, squealing "Come on," and drawing the partisan crowd on Louis Armstrong Stadium to start an indoor arena-like chant, "Let's go Melanie, let's go."

But after Oudin, who had loudly marched to the U.S. Open quarterfinals a year ago as a bubbly and unknown teenager, undersized at 5-foot-6 but full of fight, recovered from being a service break down in the second set to get back even, the 18-year-old finished this second-round match against 29th-seeded Alona Bondarenko by losing the last 12 points and the match, 6-2, 7-5.

Since reaching the U.S. Open quarterfinals last year, Oudin has an overall record of 19-25 and a ranking that will drop outside the top 70 after her U.S. Open points drop off. She had been ranked 43 coming into the event after reaching a career-high 31 earlier this year.

-- Diane Pucin in New York

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