VICTORIA DUVAL is a true survivor, both in her tennis matches and in life. Vicky was born in Miami and spent some of her childhood in Haiti including time training at the JOTAC Tennis Academy in Port-au-Prince. While living there, she was robbed at gunpoint and held hostage at her aunt’s house at the age of 7. Shortly after, Vicky’s mother, Nadine, gave up her neonatal practice and moved her and her two brothers to south Florida. Her father stayed behind to continue the gynecology and obstetrics practice he had helped build in Port-au-Prince.
To continue improving Vicky’s tennis game, Nadine moved with her to Atlanta where she worked with coach Brian de Villiers. In January 2010, Vicky was training in Atlanta when a terrible earthquake struck Haiti and her father was trapped under collapsing walls outside his home for 11 hours. After he regained consciousness he was able to dig himself out of the rubble. His legs were broken, his left arm was crushed, he had seven fractured ribs puncturing his lungs, and an infection spreading throughout his body. He survived an emergency operation in his own backyard and was airlifted to a Fort Lauderdale hospital. He has since returned to Haiti to continue his practice.
Vicky kicked off her tennis career at the age of fifteen with an astounding performance at Wimbledon in 2011 where she made it to the girls’ quarterfinals. In 2012 she appeared in her first professional singles finals and received a wildcard entry to the senior US Open. She performed well enough to make it to the semifinals of the Grand Slam. Although she was defeated, she stood out as a potential star. In 2013 she again qualified for the US Open where she had another great run that included one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when she defeated Samantha Stosur in the first round. Look for her at this year’s French Open (May 25-June 8, 2014).