Talented 17-year old Victoria Duval used her powerful forehand to defeat 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the biggest upset of the 2013 US Open thus far. Duval, who faced Kim Clijsters a year ago in Arthur Ashe Stadium in the 2012 US Open tournament, showed the poise of a woman twice her age as she bounced back from a tough first-set loss to win the match 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Having watched Duval play a year ago on Ashe, and watching her win three consecutive matches during the US Open Qualifying tournament, I made sure to be at Louis Armstrong Stadium for her match with Stosur, not with expectations of a win by Duval, but to see the development of a young American player who is of Haitian descent. When she was up 5-4 in the first set, serving for the match, then had her service broken, I thought her chance of defeating Stosur was done. I didn’t see any reason to change my thinking when she was down 2-4 in the second set. Then something changed.
Duval won the next four points to take the second set and consistently hit winning forehands in the third set to shock Stosur and many in the tennis world. Duval jumped in the air as she won while her family, including her father, who flew in from Canada, jumped for joy in the stands as well. A still jubullent Duval spoke to the media after her stunning upset.
“Not easy closing out any match, let alone a past US Open champion. So happy I did it though” the 17-year old Duval said after the match.” Many Americans and tennis fans alike were happy with her victory, including hip-hop artist Lil’ Wayne, who tweeted “Nice win Victoria Duval. Keep it up” after her victory. Duval was made aware of the Tweet. “I heard that Lil Wayne tweeted me. I need to go check that out. I don’t have Twitter. I’m going to go hit that up. Maybe I have to create one and be like @weezy thank you.”
Stosur was gracious in defeart. “You know, I feel like credit to her. I’m not going to be a sore loser and say she didn’t do anything. But, you know, I think I certainly helped her out there today, that’s for sure,” Stosur said, referring to her 50+ unforced errors. “She hit that cross-court forehand well,” said Stosur, an understatement if you asked me. Duval hit forehand after forehand that shocked Stosur and wowed the crowd. Duval responded to Stosur’s compliments. “I definitely think that getting to the next level in tennis is being able to go after your shots. These girls hit really hard. I wouldn’t have pulled it off today if I wasn’t confident in my shots. I was willing to take that risk and it paid off.”
The humble Duval also gave credit to her opponent. “Although she didn’t play nearly her best today, I played amazing, so I’ll take it,” she said with a smile. What was her mindset while playing? “You have to be a warrior because that’s just the sport we are in.” She was a warrior out on the court, and has inspired many. Up next for Duval will be Daniela Hantuchova from Slovakia on Thursday. I’m sure she will keep inspiring.