Melanie Oudin has become America's tennis princess. But for a short time on Sunday, she had no place to put her throne.
The 17-year-old and her family were booted from their Marriott Times Square hotel this weekend after their reservation had ended. It seems that nobody expected Oudin to be around New York for the second week of the tournament, so no extension was ever requested.
The Sports Business Journal reported that Oudin was quickly booked at another hotel.
The natural inclination here is to criticize Marriott. The company operates three hotels in Times Square that have more than 2,000 combined rooms. Surely they could have found a place for the star of the city's biggest sporting event. (And maybe they did, the SBJ story never expressly says that Marriott refused to give Oudin's family another room.)
But it's not the hotel's fault that Oudin was only booked until Sunday. The blame for that should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Oudin's representatives.
Saturday was the final night of Oudin's hotel reservation. Earlier that day the 17-year-old played Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Open. Was it really that hard to fathom that Oudin would win, particularly given that she had also advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon? How was the reservation not extended the instant Oudin won in the third round on Thursday? There was at least two days notice that Oudin might have to stay longer than expected. Did nobody think about where she would sleep?
Plus, like most hotels, Marriott has a 24-hour cancellation policy. Even if Oudin had lost to Sharapova, the reservations for Sunday and beyond could have been cancelled without charge. That's what would have presumably happened to the original reservation had Oudin lost in the first round.
Switching hotels might not have been the worst thing for Oudin, though. At the Marriott she was sharing a king-sized bed with her mom. Given her new star status and her new digs, maybe she was able to get a bed all to her own.
Oudin will play her quarterfinal match Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET. Hopefully she's booked at the new hotel through the weekend.
Update: Oudin's coach confirmed to The New York Times that Oudin switched hotels, but says it was because the price doubled. (Maybe because it was Labor Day weekend?)
I can see his point though. Keeping his player in a comfortable, familiar environment is much less important than saving a few hundred bucks.