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Monday, September 7, 2009

The Day After: Oudin a Celebrity in Times Square

Melanie Oudin visited Times Square on Sunday a day after upsetting Maria Sharapova

Melanie Oudin stepped out of a United Sates Open van in Times Square on Sunday morning and got a glimpse of the future: She is a celebrity.

At first, Oudin, the 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga, who defeated Maria Sharapova on Saturday, looked a bit startled. She tugged at strands of her hair and seemed to blanch at the prospect of being recognized.

Photographers (alerted by women’s tennis tour officials) crowded around to snap her picture with a tennis racket. Bystanders smiled and pointed cameras and cellphones. “She beat Sharapova,” said a pedestrian to his companions.

A caterer had delivered a cake that said “NYC Loves Oudin Believe!” (Believe is her mantra). She stood beside the confection for more picture taking.

It all happened pretty much wordlessly — until she was asked the inevitable question: “How do you feel?”

“Excited,” she said, smiling and stepping back into the van before it pulled away to return to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

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