By any metric, Victoria Duvall is a rising talent in the WTA. After losing her pro debut to Kim Clijsters in four straight sets back in 2012, the young Haitian-American followed up the loss with a major underdog victory at the US Open the following year.
In 2013, while still a teenager, she defeated 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur (then ranked 11th) and the tennis world took notice. It would surprise few to see Duval cement herself as one of the circuits best young talents in the coming years.
The win vs Stosur was impressive to say the least, but what Duval did in a losing effort the following year was perhaps even more so. While competing in the 2014 US Open, Duval was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…and she kept playing.
We all know that it takes a great deal of skill to succeed in tennis, some of it natural, most of it learned. We also know that it takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Some of the most important ingredients in the recipe for tennis success, however, are mental fortitude and perseverance. And, even though it may not be showing up in the win column yet, the now cancer-free Ms. Duval has both qualities in spades.
A young female tennis player needs only to turn on the TV during any ladies’ tennis match to see the skill and hard work required for WTA success. Everyone who qualifies for these elite tournaments has these qualities.
If a young girl wants a role model for perseverance and mental fortitude, she could do a lot worse than Vicky Duval, who, in our opinion at ATA, will be replicating her 2013 success story sooner, rather than later.