Victoria Duval, a 17-year-old American who had never before won a match at a Grand Slam, defeated 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in three sets Tuesday night, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Duval, a Florida native with a harrowing personal history, never looked like an unseeded qualifier playing the No. 11 seed in the U.S. Open's second-biggest stadium. She's small in stature and smaller in voice -- she sounded like a giddy preteen in her post-match interview -- but played a superb all-around game against one of the hardest hitters on the women's tour.
Duval got her critical break in the third set to break a 3-3 tie, then held serve to give herself a 5-3 lead. She had a match point on Stosur's potent serve, but the Australian battled several deuces to hold her own serve. On serve, Duval had several moments of brilliance and was trying to execute the only real strategy advisable against Stosur: avoid the Aussie's forehand at all costs.
Stosur saved one match point to level the game at deuce, but a forehand winner to the back left corner sealed the match for Duval. The teenager jumped up and down while Louis Armstrong Stadium, filled with the day pass crowd taking in the last match they could, erupted in cheers. Duval will take on unseeded Daniela Hantuchova in her next match.