Melanie Oudin Appoints 16 Year-Old Boyfriend Part of Management Team
NEW YORK (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) Last year, 18 year old phenom Melanie Oudin came into the U.S. Open, her fourth career Grand Slam tournament, ranked 70th, and proceeded to beat top ten players Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementiev en route to reaching the quarterfinals. The gritty teen started this year’s tournament by breezing past her first-round opponent 6-3, 6-0. After the match, in stark contrast to last year, when Oudin was, for two weeks, America’s over-achieving sweetheart, the emerging star was all business, surprising her family and team by announcing that her 16 year old boyfriend, Austin Smith, would join her management team.
In the interview room, Oudin continually deferred to Smith, who stayed by her side before, during and long after the formal post-game media session and all the ensuing interviews. Smith was seen whispering in her ear as Oudin, smiling like a smitten teenager, nodded in agreement.
According to Oudin, Smith is a savvy business man, mentioning that the enterprising teenager made over $3,000 in just the first dayss of the tournament, auctioning autographed balls, wrist bands and hotel stationery over eBay.
“If you think I’m tough on the court, that’s nothing compared to Austin,” said Melanie. ”I think he’ll be a great addition to the team.”
Smith couldn’t agree more. “We got plans, big plans, see,” said Smith. “And ain’t no two-bit phony or bum gonna get in the way, see? Try it and you’ll find yourself with a belly full o lead.”
While Oudin’s family privately acknowledges the Svengali-like hold the Cagney-esque Smith has over their daughter, they are reluctant to do or say anything for fear of disturbing the delicate emotional balance required to compete as the tournament continues.
“Austin’s a cute kid, and obviously very smart,” said Leslie Oudin, Melanie’s mother, smiling through clenched teeth. “But geez, he can be a bossy little guy.”
Oudin’s current manager, Sam Duvall, looks forward to working with Smith. “We’ve got a whole five year plan, we see Melanie branching out in several directions — a clothing line, cosmetics, and a Nickelodeon sitcom about a teenage tennis star and her bratty 16 year old boyfriend who gets gunned down in a case of mistaken identify in the third episode.”
“Man, that’s one obnoxious little shit,” said tennis analyst John McEnroe. “But, as I know better than most, being obnoxious and being successful are not mutually exclusive.”