Dementieva ousted in US Open Tennis

NEW YORK: US teen Melanie Oudin shrugged off a sore left leg to stun Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva on Thursday in the first major US Open shocker while top seed Dinara Safina struggled through again.

Dementieva, a 2004 US Open runner-up still in search of her first Grand Slam title, had not made so early an exit at Flushing Meadows since 2002 but was sent off 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 by a 17-year-old American wearing pink and yellow shoes.

World number one Safina, still searching for her first Slam crown, rallied to defeat Germany''s 67th-ranked Kristina Barrois 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-3. The Russian made 38 unforced errors and double faulted 15 times.

Oudin, ranked 70th but third among Americans, had her left thigh taped early in the third set but ignored the pain to finish off Dementieva with a service winner on her third match point after two hours and 45 minutes.

Oudin said she felt a sharp pain in her leg when she hit the winning shot but was confident she will be ready for a third-round encounter with either friend and compatriot Christina McHale or 2006 US Open winner Maria Sharapova.

Russia''s Sharapova, a former world number one, is in a comeback following right shoulder surgery. But she lost to Dementieva in the Toronto final in her last US Open tuneup, a sign that Oudin would have a chance.

In a near-replay of a first-round struggle Safina had against Australian teen Olivia Rogowska, Safina endured a roller-coaster performance that did nothing to silence critics who say Serena Williams is the top player today.

A Safina loss would have seen her match the earliest exit of any women''s top seed in US Open history, last year''s second-round loss by Serbian Ana Ivanovic to French qualifier Julie Coin.

Instead, she battled through to a third-round meeting with either Italy''s 58th-ranked Tathiana Garbin and 72nd-ranked Czech Petra Kvitova.

Second seed Williams, the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, seeks a 12th Slam crown and second US Open title in a row.

Russian 13th seed Nadia Petrova ousted France''s Julie Coin 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to reach the third round. She could face Oudin in the fourth round.