Oudin claims maiden title in Birmingham
Date published :
18 Jun 2012 - 16:18:34
US qualifier Melanie Oudin defeated former world number one Jelena Jankovic in straight sets to win her first WTA Tour title here on Monday.
Oudin, who had to come through the qualifying rounds, eased to a 6-4, 6-2 victory in a final which had been held over from Sunday after bad weather disrupted the schedule.
"This was a really great tournament for me and I'm definitely looking forward to coming back," said the American.
"I think it really helped me playing qualifying here, I played better and better each match. I love playing on grass.
"It was a great, great week for me and I definitely feel like I got better and better with each match."
Both women had to win two matches on Sunday to reach the title match, and 20-year-old Oudin proved fresher than the 27-year-old Serb.
Oudin got an early break, but Jankovic broke back before the American regained the initiative following a sloppy game from the Serb and she closed out the opening set before taking a 2-0 lead in the second.
Jankovic rarely threatened a comeback as Oudin, who has received a wild card for Wimbledon after dropping to 208th in the world rankings from a high of 31st, eased over the line in one hour and 35 minutes.
Oudin reached the fourth round at Wimbledon three years ago and had looked set to break through to the world's top 20, but her form dipped drastically.
"I think I'm a lot more mature now and a lot smarter," she said.
"I've learned a lot about the game of tennis, about my game and how I want to play, what I'm capable of. I've learned to play within myself, not try to do more than I can."
Jankovic said: "To be in the final is always great. Obviously I'm disappointed to lose in the final but at the same time it's a good result for me right now. It's just the beginning and it's good for my confidence."