During the opening round of the tennis U.S. Open, 17-Year-Old Victoria Duval defeated the 2011 champion Samantha Stosur, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Stosur is ranked 11th and Duval is ranked 256th in the world. Duval resilience on the court is a reflection of a life she endured leading up to the match.
The New York Daily News reports:
That Duval is a resilient and emotionally sturdy player should perhaps not be a surprise, given her life’s journey. At 7 years old in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, she and several cousins were held hostage by armed robbers in her aunt’s house before being freed.
“It was traumatizing, (but) worse things have happened to people,” Duval said. “I’m lucky I got out of it. I’ve kind of erased that all from my mind.”
Victoria’s parents, Jean-Maurice and Nadine Duval, both of whom are physicians, decided to move the family to Florida almost immediately, though her father kept up with his obstetrics/gynecology practice at a Port-au-Prince clinic and would shuttle back and forth. Then, on Jan. 12, 2010, the earthquake hit, and Jean-Maurice Duval was buried alive beneath the rubble of the family home. His legs broken and left arm shattered and seven busted ribs puncturing his lung, Jean-Maurice Duval somehow dug himself out, and ultimately was airlifted to a Fort Lauderdale hospital, thanks to the generosity of a family in the tennis club Victoria was competing with at the time.
“There’s a lot to be thankful for, I don’t take anything for granted,” Duval told ESPN. “I thank God everyday for everything that has happened. Life is short.” Amen!
I look forward to watching Duval during this year’s U.S. Open! Hopefully this won’t be the last time we see this young tennis player at major tennis tournaments.
Interview with ESPN:
Source: Clutch Magazine