Oudin signs multiyear deal

Updated: September 10, 2009, 7:28 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- So here is what 17-year-old Melanie Oudin of Marietta, Ga., was doing about 20 minutes before heading out to play in the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of her nascent career: affixing her signature to an endorsement contract.

Welcome to the big time, Mel.

Oudin insisted Thursday that bit of business didn't affect her play in any way during a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Caroline Wozniacki the night before.

"I knew I was going to. It wasn't a big deal. My coach was like, 'Just go ahead and do it now.' All I did was sign a piece of paper," Oudin said.

Speaking generally about the off-court demands on her time, Oudin said: "It's kind of hard if you don't how to separate the two. But for me, when I play on the court, I don't really think about anything but the ball and my opponent and me."

According to SportsBusiness Journal, the multiyear deal with a data-mining firm is believed to be for a six-figure sum guaranteed annually, plus performance bonuses.

Oudin was back at the tournament grounds Thursday, hanging out in the players' lounge and showing zero signs of being down about the way her surprising run finished.

Sure, Oudin cried tears of sadness right after being beaten, but that stopped after she met her coach, Brian de Villiers, outside the locker room. He reminded her what a joy the past 1½ weeks were.

"He's like, 'No tears.' And, 'You should be so proud of yourself. You did an unbelievable job. I'm really proud of you.' There's nothing that I should be disappointed about here because I gave it my all, and that's, like, the best I could do," she said.

Oudin was not planning on picking up a racket Thursday.

She needs some time off.

"I'm exhausted, like, from everything," she said. "It was a really long two weeks for me."

Still, there is more heady stuff ahead.

Oudin plans on buying a Rolex watch with some of her $175,000 in prize money for reaching the U.S. Open quarterfinals. She also might spend some of that on a new outfit or two for her appearances Monday on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show and the "Tonight Show."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press