Melanie Oudin has been recognized by Business Week as one of ‘5 Athletes to Watch in 2010’ as well as one of the ‘Top 10 Sports Stories to Watch in 2010.’

5 Athletes to Watch in 2010

Melanie Oudin

There are no limits for the 2009 U.S. Open darling. Oudin secured a six-figure multiyear endorsement deal with BackOffice Associates during her 2009 Open run. If she can maintain her level of play in 2010, the sponsorship floodgates will open. As the Williams sisters age, Oudin is the logical choice as the next major American woman tennis endorser. Of course, she will have to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump—since her strong showing at Flushing Meadows, Oudin has yet to win another WTA main-draw match.

Top 10 Sports Stories to Watch in 2010

10. Melanie Oudin, Endorsement Darling

Even though Melanie Oudin has yet to win another WTA main-draw match after her joyous U.S. Open march through Russian seeds (Dementieva, Sharapova, and Petrova) before she was eliminated by a Dane (Wozniacki), the young American is still poised to be our newest sports endorsement sweetheart in 2010. As long, of course, as she makes it to at least the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. And keeps winning thereafter.

Oudin cemented one new six-figure multiyear sponsor, BackOffice Associates, during the Open, and veteran sports marketers are predicting that in the next few years the sky’s the limit for the plucky blonde teenager from Atlanta. Oudin finished the year ranked No. 48 in the world and as the third-ranked American woman behind aging Serena and Venus Williams. Her career earnings to date are $351,710; look for that figure to triple in 2010.

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