From wild cards to Grand Slam champions – in a close mixed doubles final Friday evening, American teenagers Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock topped eighth-seeded Gisela Dulko and Eduardo Schwank 7-6(4), 4-6, (10-8) to win their first Grand Slam title. "It's pretty cool. We just kind of can't believe that we actually won a Grand Slam," said Oudin.
"Especially because we didn't even know if we were going to be able to play mixed doubles here because we didn't know if we would get a wild card... we're just really excited."
Sock believes their approach of having fun carried them to victory. "I think that's kind of why we have been doing well this week. It's been like that all tournament for us, kind of just like playing loose, swinging, and having a good time."
After both men held their serves to begin, Oudin was broken at love in the third game and the Argentines consolidated the break on Dulko’s serve to lead 3-1. But Oudin and Sock hung tough – at 2-3, 30-30 on Schwank’s serve, Oudin ran backwards and struck a forehand-lob winner to set up break point. Schwank subsequently hit a forehand wide to hand back the break.
From there, the two teams held serve and the set came down to a tie-break. The Americans opened an early lead, moving ahead 4-1, and they never looked back. Up 6-4, Oudin hit a cross-court-forehand winner against Schwank’s serve to clinch the set.
Both teams protected their serves well for the majority of the second set. Leading 5-4, the Argentines sensed their opportunity to break. With a 0-30 opening, the crafty Dulko carved a backhand-drop-shot winner to reach three set points. They converted on their first attempt after Sock and Oudin opted not to volley Schwank’s backhand return, which landed well inside the baseline.
Having advanced via two match tie-breaks en route to the final, Oudin and Sock kept their cool in the deciding set. Trailing 2-3, Oudin pulled out her protractor, curling a forehand-cross-court winner past the two Argentines. Then down 4-5, Sock called off Oudin for an overhead, hitting it with authority to even the score. It gave Oudin and Sock the momentum, as the Americans won the next three points thanks to two unforced errors from Schwank’s racquet and a double fault at the hands of Dulko.
Dulko didn’t give up and showed why she reached No. 1 in women’s doubles, coming forward against Oudin’s serve and putting away a backhand volley to get to 6-8. But Sock, the youngest player on court, showed his fearlessness at net, poaching and putting away a forehand volley to give the Americans three championship points. The Argentines made the wild cards serve it out after Schwank cracked two heavy serves to move within 8-9. Sock used every ounce of his adrenaline to place his first serve in, and Schwank’s return sailed long to end the match. "I felt comfortable serving all week, so I think I was pretty positive about it and felt like I was probably hitting a good serve," stated Sock.
The victory capped off a stunning tournament for Oudin and Sock, who ousted defending champions and top seeds Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan in the second round and came back from match point down in their opening match against Vladimira Uhlirova and Filip Polasek. The two will share $150,000 in prize money.
- Oudin-Sock saved four of the five break points they faced
- Dulko-Schwank won two more points than Oudin-Sock (76 to 74)
| Melanie Oudin USA |
Jack Sock USA
| Gisela Dulko ARG (8)|
Eduardo Schwank ARG (8)