On a day when the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic cruised to first round wins,the upset was reserved for the womens section of the US Open.
From the earnest explanation of why Gary the Snail is her favorite SpongeBob SquarePants character to the name-check of rapper Lil Wayne,Victoria Duval made quite clear that she is very much a 17-year-old kid. One who just so happened to stun 2011 champion Sam Stosur in the first round of the U.S. Open.
Overcoming the sort of nerves that derive from never before having played an opponent ranked this highly,let alone beaten one,and never before having won a match at a Grand Slam tournament,Duval hopped up and down with arms overhead after pulling off her big surprise at Flushing Meadows,a 5-7,6-4,6-4 victory over the 11th-seeded Stosur.
I dont even remember match point, the 296th-ranked American said Tuesday night,less than two hours after closing out Stosur with a forehand winner. I guess I was really happy. I mean,you could tell by all the jumping I did.
She wore a white towel around her neck,giggled at her own squeaky-voiced answers,and genuinely seemed to be enjoying the whole experience during a news conference that was a meandering affair,befitting Duvals bubbly personality,and the long,unique journey that brought her to this point.
Duval,currently based in Bradenton,Florida,was born in in the U.S. but grew up in her parents home country of Haiti. She said that when she was 7,she and some cousins were taken hostage there by robbers.
Its not a good memory,so Ive tried to forget as much as I could about it, Duval said when the subject was raised. I dont remember too much of it anymore,which is great.
Then,in 2010,when Haiti was rocked by an earthquake,her father was buried in rubble and badly injured,Duval said. Theres a lot to be thankful for. I dont take anything for granted. … My Dad is really fortunate to be here, she told the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd during an on-court interview. Stosur was unhappy with the way she played,including 10 double-faults and a total of 56 unforced errors,21 more than Duval. Im not going to be a sore loser and say she didnt do anything, said Stosur,an Australian. But,you know,I think I certainly helped her out there today,thats for sure.
Defying the sceptics who had dismissed his chances of winning a sixth title in the Big Apple,Federer was in vintage form as he brushed past Slovenias Grega Zemlja 6-3 6-2 7-5 in a delayed afternoon match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Djokovic then lit up Tuesdays night session with a dazzling combination of power and precision to defeat Lithuanias Ricardas Berankis 6-1 6-2 6-2.
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki survived a tough examination to join grand slam winners Petra Kvitova and Ana Ivanovic in the second round. Kvitova,the 2011 Wimbledon champion,also had to put in some overtime before winning her clash with Misaki Doi 6-2 3-6 6-1 while a grieving Ivanovic,the 2008 French Open winner,cruised to a 6-2 6-0 win over Georgias Anna Tatishvili.
Ivanovic arrived in New York with a heavy heart after learning about the drowning death of a childhood friend back in her native Serbia. Its been very sad news, Ivanovic told reporters. It was very hard because it was almost like my relative. We grew up,and I knew him since we were kids. Its very,very sad.
With her boyfriend,golfer Rory McIlroy,watching from the stands,Wozniacki had to dig deep to beat Chinese qualifier Duan Yingying 6-2 7-5. Wozniacki raced through the opening set in just 35 minutes then reeled off five games in a row to seal the win after falling behind 5-2. Its not about being pretty, Wozniacki said. Its about just getting the job done. I did that,so Im happy about that.
Important results (Rd 1):
Mens Singles: Novak Djokovic (1),Serbia,def. Ricardas Berankis,Lithuania,6-1,6-2,6-2; Tomas Berdych (5),Czech Republic,def. Paolo Lorenzi,Italy,6-1,6-4,6-1; Roger Federer (7),Switzerland,def. Grega Zemlja,Slovenia,6-3,6-2,7-5; Milos Raonic (10),Canada,def. Thomas Fabbiano,Italy,6-3,7-6 (6),6-3; Tommy Haas (12),Germany,def. Paul-Henri Mathieu,France,6-4,6-4,6-1; John Isner (13),United States,def. Filippo Volandri,Italy,6-0,6-2,6-3.
Womens Singles: Victoria Azarenka (2),Belarus,def. Dinah Pfizenmaier,Germany,6-0,6-0; Sara Errani (4),Italy,def. Olivia Rogowska,Australia,6-0,6-0; Caroline Wozniacki (6),Denmark,def. Ying-Ying Duan,China,6-2,7-5; Petra Kvitova (7),Czech Republic,def. Misaki Doi,Japan,6-2,3-6,6-1; Roberta Vinci (10),Italy,def. Timea Babos,Hungary,6-4,6-2; Victoria Duval,United States,def. Samantha Stosur (11),Australia,5-7,6-4,6-4; Ana Ivanovic (13),Serbia,def. Anna Tatishvili,Georgia,6-2,6-0.