NEW YORK -- It's right there on her shoes: "Believe." Melanie Oudin always has, though even she had to admit this latest accomplishment felt a bit overwhelming.
Maybe that helped explain why her leg was cramping, why the tears were falling, why the match points were slipping away toward the end of her U.S. Open upset over fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva on Thursday.
"First time playing on Arthur Ashe, I was beating No. 4 in the world, about to beat her," Oudin said. "Just a little bit of everything. A lot of things were going through my mind."
The 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., ranked 70th in the world, won 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. She is now, by almost every account, the next great American hope in women's tennis.
Former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic made an early departure, losing to 55th-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6). Jankovic reached the U.S. Open final in 2008, and she was seeded No. 5 this year, but her head might not have been focused on the court on this day: Her grandmother died Wednesday night.
No. 1 Dinara Safina nearly joined the parade of surprising exits, turning in her second poor performance of the week before hanging on to edge 67th-ranked Kristina Barrois of Germany 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3.
No seeded men lost in early action Thursday, when the winners included 2007 runner-up Novak Djokovic, and four Americans: 276th-ranked Jesse Witten, 55th-ranked John Isner, No. 21 James Blake and No. 22 Sam Querrey. French Open runner-up Robin Soderling advanced when his opponent, Marcel Granollers, quit with a back injury.