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Teen Victoria Duval Pulls Off Major Upset At U.S. Open


At the U.S. Open last night, 17-year-old Victoria Duval pulled off the upset of the tournament's first two days. The unseeded American teenager beat the 2011 champion Samantha Stosur in three sets.


How'd she do it?

VICTORIA DUVAL: I know she didn't play her best today. And this is the best I have played in my career, so I'm really excited.

BLOCK: Victoria Duval didn't start off dreaming of tennis. Her mother wanted her to be a ballerina. But she followed her brothers to their tennis tournaments. And on a lark one day, she played in one.

DUVAL: It was the 10-and-under tournament, I think, and I won it. And I had no idea where to stand on the court or anything. So then after that, my mom was like, OK, you have to choose now. So tennis seemed to be appropriate.

SIEGEL: Although she was born in Miami, Duval lived in Haiti until she was 8. And she's faced serious challenges off the courts. At age 7, she and her cousins were kidnapped and held at gunpoint, an incident, she says, she tries to forget.

BLOCK: And in the 2010 Haitian earthquake, her father was trapped in rubble for 11 hours. He still suffers from his injuries, but he was there yesterday cheering her on.

SIEGEL: The teen seems to have a balanced approach. When asked to describe herself, she said...

DUVAL: I am very goofy off the court, so I think I'm very much of a child at heart.

BLOCK: Her motto? Have fun.


SIEGEL: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.