Haitian-American teenager Victoria Duval stunned 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the tournament’s first round Tuesday.
The 17-year-old qualifier, ranked 296th, won 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, against the top-20 opponent in only her second Grand Slam match.
“I think I played amazing today—it was incredible, the whole match was just really an incredible match and I’m happy I pulled it through,” said Duval. “Obviously it’s a great feeling to beat a past champion. And Sam is amazing. Although she didn’t play nearly her best today, I played amazing, so I’ll take it.”
Duval was born in Miami but lived in Haiti until she moved back to the United States at age 8.
A Cinderella story indeed, Duval and a group of her cousins were kidnapped and held at gunpoint during a home robbery at age 7. Fortunately the captors freed Duval and her family unharmed.
Her parents, Jean-Maurice and Nadine Duval, decided to leave Haiti and move the family to Florida.
Coincidentally, Duval’s father was in Port-au-Prince to attend to his physician’s practice when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake ripped through Haiti. Her father was buried under their home and wasn’t found for 11 hours. He suffered broken legs, a broken arm and seven broken ribs that punctured his lung, yet managed to dig himself out and was air-lifted back to Florida, and despite developing paralysis in his arm, he recovered.
Duval excited with her win, said she tries to block out the bad memories of the past and just live in the moment.