Oudin keeps pecking away to see off fourth Russian

After her exploits here last week Melanie Oudin was asked whether she was bigger news than The Big Chicken, a famous 56-foot tall metal sign outside a fast-food outlet in her home city of Marietta. "I don't know," the 17-year-old conqueror of Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova said. "The Big Chicken is pretty big."

Oudin, just 5ft 6in tall, is catching up with the celebrated Georgia landmark with every passing day. Yesterday, the new sweetheart of Flushing Meadows added Nadia Petrova to her list of US Open victims, beating the world No 13 1-6, 7-6, 6-3 to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time. She now plays the winner of last night's fourth-round match between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki.

When Petrova won the first set in 31 minutes it seemed the fairy tale might be ending, but Oudin, who lost to Laura Robson in the Wimbledon junior tournament last year, is a gritty competitor as well as a fine ball-striker and nifty mover. Whipping the 23,000 Labor Day crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium into a frenzy with her fist-pumping celebrations, the world No 70 quickly grew in confidence. A non-stop bundle of energy, she packs a formidable punch for one so small. Fortunes swayed in the second and third sets, but on her third match point Oudin cracked a trademark forehand winner.

"In the second set I started to play better, to get more confidence and to believe that I could do it – and I did," a beaming Oudin said. "I could have lost that match, but I kept fighting."

Petrova regretted not taking her chances but paid tribute to her opponent. "She was running and getting every single ball, making me play the extra shot," she said. When it was pointed out Oudin had now beaten four tall Russians in succession, Petrova, presumably with Kuznetsova in mind, replied: "Hopefully, she now gets a short and slightly chubby Russian. We'll see how she handles that."

The winner of Oudin's quarter-final plays Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko, the world No 52, or Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer, ranked 50. Bondarenko took just 47 minutes to beat Gisela Dulko 6-0, 6-0.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album