Former world No.31 Melanie Oudin ended her professional career today, due to a series of injuries and other health problems that have troubled her since the end of 2012, but instead of sharing photos of her best tennis moments, I’d like to feature her cute childhood photos in my Little Tennis Stars series.
Melanie started playing tennis at the age of seven, when grandmother introduced her to the sport, while at nine years of age she already knew that she wanted tennis to be her job when she grows up.
Not regretting her childhood decision, Melanie turned pro in 2008 and has been enjoying the life of a professional tennis player up until this moment.
In most of these photos you can see Melanie with her twin sister Katherine and younger sister Christina.
Unlike her twin sister, Melanie was homeschooled to be able to pursue a tennis career, and while it was beneficial, she did envy her sister for going to a regular school.
The American’s fairytale career days were when she reached the quarterfinals at the 2009 US Open, while she’s also won one WTA title at the 2012 Aegon Classic in Birmingham, as a qualifier.
Moreover, Melanie won a mixed doubles title at the 2011 US Open with Jack Sock.
Now that a lot of players are blooming in their 30s, it’s a bit odd to see someone retire at the age of 25, but Oudin says that she’s satisfied with her achievements, even though it was not exactly a career she had dreamed of.
Competing with the best in the world requires your absolute best and without being 100% mentally and physically it is very difficult.
I am sad to leave the sport I know and love, but I am very optimistic about what the future holds for me.