Tue Aug 24 02:36pm EDT
Oudin will take to the court at this year's Open with personalized adidas shoes emblazoned with the word "COURAGE." Last year, her "BELIEVE" shoes became one of the major stories of the tournament, thanks to their folksy orgin, bright colors and Oudin's magical run to the quarters. This year, she and adidas opted for less mantra and more fortitude:
"The reason I chose the word COURAGE is because in order to believe you have to have the courage to do so. Courage to me means playing with no fear and going for it no matter what. You can believe in yourself so much but unless you have the courage to go on the court and put yourself on the line every time you won't make it. You need courage and belief to make it to the top."
Oudin is going to need all the courage she can get in Flushing Meadows. She's just 18-23 since last year's Open run and a first-round loss could drop her as far as No. 90 in the rankings. Barring a deep run at Flushing Meadows, Oudin's ranking will drop far enough where she'll be forced to play qualifiers at most major tourneys.
Maybe the shoe should have said "MIRACLE" instead.