Black History Month Profile:
Ashley Marshall | February 5, 2016
Never in tennis history have there been as many promising, talented African-American tennis players as there are today. In celebration of Black History Month, here is a look at one of those players – following in the tradition of Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and the Williams sisters – who is on the cusp of breaking through and leaving her very own imprint on the top ranks of the professional game.
The Victoria Duval File
Hometown: Bradenton, FL
Current Rank: 586
Career-High Rank: 87 (August 2014)
Getting to Know Vicky Duval:
- Duval was born in Miami but spent the first eight years of her life in Haiti, the homeland of her parents, doctors Jean-Maurice and Nadine.
- At a young age, Duval gave up ballet to pursue tennis, first at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla., then at the Racquet Club of the South, a USTA Certified Regional Training Center in Atlanta.
After her father was badly injured in the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, members of the Racquet Club of the South helped donate money to have him airlifted to the U.S. for treatment.
- Duval has made the second round of a Grand Slam twice in her career, both times as a qualifier: at the 2013 US Open, where she defeated No. 11 seed Sam Stosur in the first round, and at Wimbledon in 2014, when she beat No. 29 seed Sorana Cirstea in her opening match.
- Duval played in her first tournament in August 2015 after a year away from the game after battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Since making a full recovery, Duval competed in qualifying for the 2015 US Open, advanced to the quarterfinals of the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Landisville, Pa., and competed in this year’s Hopman Cup in Australia.
- Duval peaked at No. 18 in the world in the ITF World Junior Rankings in September 2011 after reaching the quarterfinals of the junior US Open and junior Wimbledon. She also reached the semifinals of the 2012 US Open Junior Championships.