Duval, is a native of Florida with a traumatic past. She’s a small, soft spoken teenager. She was never the viewable choice; playing the Number 11 seed in the U.S. Open’s second largest stadium. However, she played an outstanding all-around game opposite one of the best on the women’s tour.
Duval who now lives in Atlanta was born in Miami. She’s been through more in her 17 years than some people will go through in a lifetime. At the age of 7-years-old she was robbed at gunpoint and held hostage. Later she almost lost her father who found himself in a near death experience during the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti in 2010.
Duval’s mother, Nadine, a physician, who was disheartened by the robbery gathered her daughter and two sons and went to Florida. She left her practice behind as well as her husband, Dr. Jean-Maurice, to continue working the business they had built.
Duval said if it wasn’t for the sacrifices her family made she would not be where she is today. Her mother has never held it over her head and if she had, Duval said, she would not want to play tennis.
During the earthquake her father was buried alive in the rubble and pinned down. After he finally regained consciousness he dug himself out. He was hurt badly. His legs broken, arm shattered and paralyzed, ribs fractured which caused his lung to become punctured. His body was full of infection. He had to be airlift to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, because of the financial help he received to get to the hospital, is alive today.
Her father eventually went back to Haiti to help the people down there in need. She communicates with him regularly on Skype.
Duval got her big break in the third set to the tie, then held serve to give herself the lead. During the match Duval had many outstanding moments and was trying to execute hard to avoid Stosur’s forehand swing at all costs. This was her primary strategy.
Stosur leveled the game but a forehand winner to the left back corner sealed the game for Duval. She came away the winner as the crowd went crazy in excitement. Duval said this was her biggest win ever. She will take on Daniela Hantuchova in her next match.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)