NEW YORK — Her brothers played tennis. Victoria Duval was more into ballet.
But while tagging along to watch them at a tournament, the director said she’d be better off playing than sitting there watching in her mom’s lap.
“It was a 10-and-under tournament, I think, and I won it,” Duval said. “I had no idea where to stand on the court or anything. After that, my mom said, `OK, you have to choose now.’ Tennis seemed to be appropriate.”
That’s the short version of how the 17-year-old with the squeaky voice found herself at the U.S. Open, decked out in a pink dress, blue tennis shorts and square, white-rimmed glasses, knocking off one of the tournament’s past champions Tuesday night.
She celebrated her 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 upset of 11th-seeded Sam Stosur with two huge leaps in the center of Armstrong Stadium that were accompanied by an even bigger smile. Her family turned their corner of the stands into a little mosh pit, sharing hugs and high-fives as they watched Victoria break through. With the win, she placed herself in the ever-growing line of great American tennis hopes.
“We’re obviously trying to make American tennis become what it used to be,” Duval said. “We’re all working toward the same goal. We’re all a tight-knit group. Helping each other is important. I think we’re on an amazing path.”
Tuesday at the U.S. Open was a good day for Americans on both the men’s and women’s side.
Sparked by wins from John Isner and Sam Querrey, the American men went 5-2 — setting aside, at least for a day, all the recent headlines about the demise of the men’s sport in the United States.
Meanwhile, Duval, ranked 296th, joined Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, both Williams sisters and four other U.S. players in the second round of the women’s draw