17 Facts About 17-Year-Old U.S. Open Phenom Victoria Duval

Not old enough to vote, but old enough to rock the tennis world.

1. This is Victoria Duval.

Mike Segar / Reuters

She is a Hatian-American professional tennis player.

2. When she was young, she was into ballet. When she started playing tennis her mother said she had to pick between the two. Pretty obvious she made the right choice.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

3. (She’s won $50,000 in prize money in her career already.)

TIMOTHY CLARY / Getty Images

4. Tennis idol Billie Jean King has taken Duval under her wing.


Duval spent this past summer training with King.

5. And already developed a trademark: sweet glasses.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

The glasses are by Oakley. Future sponsor? We’re just pointing out the obvious.

6. On a personal level, Duval enjoys SpongeBob SquarePants.

Michael Regan / Getty Images

She has said she feels Gary really doesn’t get enough attention.

7. She grew up in Haiti. At age 7, she was held at gunpoint in her aunt’s home.

Mike Segar / Reuters

8. Her family moved to Florida the following year, but her father frequently returned to Haiti to work as a doctor. In 2010, he was in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit and buried under rubble for 11 hours.

Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

9. At the age of 17, she had only played one Grand Slam match before this year.

Charles Krupa / AP

She was given a wildcard into the 2012 U.S. Open but lost in the first round to Kim Clijsters.

10. Duval only made it to the quarterfinals of the 2013 National Under 18 Championship, but rallied back to win three qualifying matches for this year’s Open.

Alan Diaz / AP

11. As of August 26, 2013, she was ranked 296th in the world. But that’s about to change.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

12. On Tuesday, she beat 2011 U.S. Open champion and 11th-seed Samantha Stosur in a huge first-round upset.

Mike Segar / Reuters

In a very close third set, it took Duval four match points to secure a win.

13. Making a fan of Lil Wayne in the process.

Nice win Victoria Duval! Keep it up

— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi)

Lil Wayne WEEZY F


Nice win Victoria Duval! Keep it up

/ Via

14. She credited her win to King’s advice.

15. So not only is she a rad, cool-to-the-max teenager, she’s now officially a tennis player to keep an eye on.

16. Perhaps best of all: Duval’s father recovered and was at her match on Tuesday. He’s the one in the white button-down.

17. She plays again tonight against Daniela Hantuchova.

CORRECTION: Victoria Duval’s father is wearing a white button-down. An earlier version of this article misidentified him. (8/30/13)

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