This is our Skype chat during the match.
Lindsay: So, Juan José…after Errani completely dismantled Rogowska, here we are with one of the matches I’m really excited about today, Samantha Stosur vs. Victoria Duval. What are your thoughts on this match-up?
Juan José: I don’t think I have a whole lot of thoughts – more like a huge amount of curiosity, for two reasons: 1) I’ve never seen Vicky Duval play tennis, and 2) I’m curious about how Stosur can do in this US Open.
We have Mariana Alves in the chair, and a sleepy crowd on Armstrong, eh?
Lindsay: Yeah…I think if this first set is close that the crowd will trickle in. The Errani pummeling didn’t get the excitement going.
Juan José: Nope – how long did that take, half an hour?
Lindsay: Maybe not that long. Anyway, I’m really excited to see this because I watched Duval a lot in qualies. I love her variety and her attitude. She comes in, she mixes it up, she’s pretty fearless.
Juan José: Cool! I know you saw her in Charleston, so I was wondering what you thought about her game.
Lindsay: Also, I love that she made it through qualies–that’s such a great experience to have at a young age. More qualies, less wildcards USTA.
Juan José: Hear, hear.
Lindsay: So, wow–right off the bat Duval has gotten to deuce on Stosur’s service game, with a forehand winner that she correctly challenged.
Juan José: Nice challenge by Duval – that forehand was definitely in. Already showing that she can handle Stosur’s famous serve quite well. Though Sam ends up holding.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 1-0*
Still, that was a great first game by Duval. Not overwhelmed. Yet.
Juan José: Gorgeous body serve by Stosur there.
How about if we do a quick fashion update? I really like Stosur’s dress. I have to say, I was not thrilled to see her leave Lacoste a while ago, and Asics put her in some cheap-looking stuff early on. But little by little they’ve gotten better, and this dress is pretty great.
Lindsay: I agree. I think they both look good.
Juan José: I actually don’t like Duval’s kit. More like the design, because the color does look pretty good on her. Surprising Eleven put such a lame kit out there. Venus usually does better.
Back to the match – break point for Stosur after pummeling an inside-in forehand. I have to say, this match is quite even so far.
Lindsay: Stosur caught Vicky wrong-footed, but that was a nice baseline rally–Duval is handling the power.
Juan José: That’s sad – Duval with the forehand UFE to hand over the early break. Never good for an underdog to lose serve that early in a match like this.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 2*-0
Juan José: Did you notice that we have 2 players wearing sunglasses today? It doesn’t happen all too often.
Lindsay: Indeed. So, this is Stosur’s first match without David Taylor, who she dropped out of nowhere right before the Open started.
Juan José: Yeah – that was weird, wasn’t it? They seemed to be one of those player-coach tandems that would last forever, like Youzhny and that old dude.
Lindsay: BORIS. LEGENDARY BORIS.
What a return from Duval!
Juan José: That was one heck of a shot – sadly it came when down 40-0 already.
Lindsay: Still–it proves she’s not going away mentally. I’m not expecting Duval to win this match–really tough draw–but if she can hang in there that’s a great sign. Duval of course got Clijsters last year – she hasn’t had luck from the USO draw gods!
Juan José: Nope – sometimes that happens, and the only solution is to get that ranking high enough. Which for someone like Duval who is just starting her career (she’s 17 and ranked #296), is still a long ways away.
Well, look at that: Duval’s great return winner is followed by a Stosur DF, and now a Stosur UFE. Deuce!
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 3-0*
So, 11 minutes in, Duval’s down 0-3, but she’s gotten to deuce in both of Sam’s service games. Holding serve is, obviously, the key.
Juan José: I think there are plenty of positives – Duval looks a little disappointed, but that has to stem from the cheap UFE on break point. She needs to put it behind her and focus on the immediate task at hand, which is trying to hold serve.
Alves is not happy with people not sitting down. Folks are returning to Armstrong just now.
Lindsay: I saw Duval play against Larcher de Brito in qualies in DC, and she lost a lead in two sets, lost in 3 after losing like the last 5 games of the match, and after it ended she couldn’t really move from her chair for about 5 full minutes–she just sat there with a towel over her head. So she’s certainly not complacent.
Juan José: I like to hear those stories – they speak of a young player’s competitive spirit.
So far, what I’ve liked about Duval is her willingness to take control of rallies. She definitely wants to have points end on her terms.
Lindsay: Look at that winner from Duval to set up game point!
Juan José: Yep, that was really nice. It’s not easy to put away that tricky low ball.
Lindsay: I mean, to be 17 and to have this much confidence against Stosur? I like it.
Juan José: I agree – and I LOVED that tricky serve that fooled Stosur completely. This could be a match!
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 3*-1
Vicky is on the board!
Juan José: Stosur wanted to run around the backhand, but Duval spotted her movement and sent the return the other way. Class play by Duval.
I don’t know about you, but I thought Duval was on the shorter end of the spectrum. I don’t know why. But I just looked, and she’s 5’9 and a half.
Lindsay: I mean, she’s got a baby face and a baby voice. She might still be growing, though.
Juan José: I think that’s it – particularly the baby voice. I still remember that video you put up on the site from Charleston.
Lindsay: Her favorite shot is the swing volley. And she kiiillls it.
Juan José: So…Duval has 2 chances to get back on serve!
And what a return to get the break back! I think we’ve got ourselves a match here, Linz!
Lindsay: She does it!!
Juan José: Duval looks quite polished for a 17 year old. I’m very impressed.
Lindsay: Me too.
Juan José: It’s odd to type this, but Stosur is having a heck of a lot more trouble with Vicky’s serve than the other way around.
Lindsay: Hah–yeah, Stosur has not figured it out yet, though I predict that will change as the match goes on. It’s a lot easier to scout Stosur than it is to scout Duval.
Lindsay: OMG–are you watching this ESPN promo with Vicky?
Juan José: Not at all – I’m watching the US Open stream. I can barely hear the commentators, whoever they are.
Lindsay: Apparently she was a ballet dancer until she was seven, then her brothers were playing a tennis tournament and someone suggested she play. She had never played before, didn’t know how to keep score, but she won the tournament!
(She told the story much cuter than I did.)
Juan José: I’m sure she did – she’s one of those people who could make reading the phone book sound adorable.
While that was happening, Stosur held at 0.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 4-3*
Wow–amazing hearing about her backstory and coming from Haiti. Apparently after they survived a robbery, her mom moved the family to the States. Her dad is still in Haiti, and had to dig himself out after the quake.
Juan José: That’s quite a backstory for Duval. I think we’ll be hearing more and more about it as her career unfolds.
Lindsay: Meanwhile, Duval holds at love.
Lindsay: What part of Duval’s game are you most excited about so far?
Juan José: Good question – and the answer is not easy. I’m just very impressed by how polished she is – she doesn’t have an obvious weakness, and I really love her willingness to look for ways to finish points with her forehand.
I mean, just yesterday I wrote a Prospect Evaluation piece on Nick Kyrgios from Australia, who is a year older and much more raw than Vicky when you compare where their skill sets are at the moment.
Lindsay: Wow–look at this! Stosur DFs, two break points for Vickiy
Juan José: Oy. Stosur clearly rattled by the rookie.
Lindsay: Stosur shank! And Duval breaks!
Juan José: Wow.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 4-5*
Juan José: Going back to Duval, it’s kind of like a Djokovic thing: she’s so very competent at almost everything, if not everything. Which is kind of shocking for someone who’s all of 17 years old.
Lindsay: Agreed. And I always thought that power wasn’t her strength, which it might not be, but she’s doing such a good job absorbing and redirecting pace and taking control of things that it’s hard to even notice.
And, I mean, she’s still growing–she can add strength if she needs to. I’m not sure you can teach her court movement and instincts.
Juan José: No – she’s a natural talent, and whoever has coached her over the years has done a very, very good job.
Lindsay: I love her annoyed spin every time she loses a point.
Juan José: And here we see how Vicky reacts to a scenario she’s not too familiar with: having to serve out a set against a HUGE favorite.
Lindsay: Not very well. I mean, she had a hard time serving out sets against Larcher de Brito, so…
Juan José: Late (but good) overrule by Mendes.
Lindsay: As Mary Joe is pointing out, Duval’s depth is confusing Stosur at times. But still, that was a rough game. Couldn’t serve it out.
Juan José: Yep – was it 2 DFs that Vicky handed out?
Lindsay: I think so.
Juan José: Sad, but a young player like her has to go through this kind of thing to improve. No shortcuts available.
Lindsay: Isn’t it weird that Stosur won the US Open two years ago?
Juan José: That’s still the weirdest thing that has happened in tennis in the last decade, I think.
Also, who is that lady who looks like Stosur they keep showing?
Lindsay: It’s Alicia Molik, who’s coaching her for now.
Big moment for Duval, needs to keep it together here and force a tiebreak. Losing the last three games of the set would be tough to recover from.
Juan José: Poor Vicky – the forehand is betraying her, and it’s her strength.
Now a DF to set up 2 set points for Stosur.
Lindsay: What a brave way to play down break point. Heads straight to the net.
Juan José: She’s pretty good at putting away short forehands – that’s a great skill to have.
Wow! A Gonzo-esque 2nd serve I-O forehand winner by Stosur to take the set!
Lindsay: First set: Stosur 7-5
Juan José: Duval has not handled prosperity well, has she?
Lindsay: It’s key how Duval starts the second set. Needs to still have belief.
Juan José: Random update: Stosur has left her sunglasses in her chair, but Vicky still has hers on.
Lindsay: I love it.
Juan José: I have to say, Venus gets a reprimand for this outfit Duval is wearing. It’s just so lazy. And I usually like most of the Eleven stuff.
Lindsay: I totally disagree. I think it’s young, fun, casual, and just perfect for Vicky.
Juan José: WOW – what a backhand down-the-line winner to set up break point!
Lindsay: What a point!!!! Duval is coming out strong. And she converts!
Stosur-Duval 7-5, 0-1*
Juan José: Impressive by Duval to break Stosur’s serve right out of the gate, particularly after what happened at the end of the 1st set.
Lindsay: Agreed. So…we’ve talked a lot about Duval, which is natural since we know less about her. But what are our thoughts on Stosur so far?
Juan José: She’s been a little sloppy, but that’s not out of the ordinary for her, or for anybody who’s playing their 1st round at a Slam.
She seems pretty relaxed, which is not all that common with her.
Lindsay: Right– I mean, Duval has had the benefit of qualies, which usually makes players a bit more sharp in first-round matches.
Juan José: Yeah – plus she’s the heavy underdog, so there’s not a whole lot of pressure on her.
Lindsay: This is not a good game from Vicky. She had game points, now break point.
Juan José: Stosur is trying to manage the match, and she’s getting better at pummeling Vicky’s 2nd serve and winning the forehand exchanges.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 1*-1
Juan José: Rookie mistake by Vicky on that break point – there was no need to go for that backhand down-the-line after Stosur’s good return. Shot selection mistake leads to the break.
Lindsay: Agreed. She’s figuring out Duval’s game, which I figured would happen. And Duval is getting frustrated. Her focus is an issue.
Juan José: Again, Duval doesn’t seem to handle prosperity all that well so far.
Lindsay: Getting in baseline rallies with Stosur is not a good look for anyone.
The crowd needs to start talking w/ an Australian across-court, or screaming ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie.” If Stosur thinks she’s back home, she’ll start to choke.
Juan José: LOL
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 2-1*
Juan José: Emphatic hold by Stosur. I wonder if Vicky has a comeback in her.
Lindsay: I’m not really feeling it.
Juan José: Did you know that this is Vicky Duval’s 6th WTA-level match?
Lindsay: I didn’t! Where were the others?
Juan José: Last year at the US Open, then 2 in Miami, and 2 in Memphis. The rest of her pro experience is ITF-level.
Lindsay: This is a great CNN feature on Duval back when she was 15…really gives some insight into all she’s been through.
Juan José: BTW, I loved that little fistpump after getting to 40-30. She understands this is a key juncture of the match.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, *2-2
Yeah, that was a huge hold from Duval. Look at this- she’s right back in another one of Stosur’s service games. That depth! Great point by Stosur though, nice 1-2 punch. 30-30.
What a lob! That deserves one of your tweets…
Juan José: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAZOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! DE VICTORIA DUVALLLLLLLL!!!!! WHAT A LOB!!!!!!!!
Lindsay: Duval is using her challenges so well–impressive since she’s not used to them.
Juan José: I was watching the video – really interesting to see that she’s coming out of the Bolletieri farm.
You can say a lot of things about Nick, but a ton of very polished players come out of his academy time and time again.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 3-2*
Agreed. And, like JJ, she’s far from a “brainless ball-basher,” which is the stereotype.
Juan José: Exactly. I found it interesting that Nick says at the beginning of the video that he thinks she’ll be 6’0 or 6’1.
So Vicky is still growing.
Lindsay: That was two years ago, though.
Juan José: It’ll be interesting to hear what Stosur has to say about Vicky after the match. I’m sure she’ll be asked.
Lindsay: Oh man, what a cross-court forehand. Just out, though. Deuce on Vicky’s serve.
Oh wooow—Duval hits a first-serve fault and Eva calls it a double. She was quickly corrected, but I think it rattled Vicky. She lost the next point. Break point now.
And a long Stosur forehand takes it back to deuce. Duval is hanging tough.
Juan José: Nervy part of the match – and Stosur is making quite a bit of cheap errors on break points.
Great serve by Vicky to survive another break point.
Lindsay: Followed by a weak serve, which allowed Stosur to take control of the rally right off the bat, and force the error.
Juan José: Again, no need to go for the backhand down-the-line there.
Lindsay: But once again, Duval hangs tough…how many deuces? I’ve lost count. Oops.
Juan José: WOW. What a cross-court forehand!
Lindsay: This game is 10 minutes long.
Juan José: Nuts. This is the match, it feels like.
Lindsay: Oooooh nooooooo
Juan José: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Vicky did everything right….until the last ball.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4*-2
LOL- Stosur opens up that service game with a DF. Naturally.
Then Stosur misses the backhand down-the-line! 0-30.
Juan José: Stosur’s toss for the 2nd serve has been a mess. Way too short, and too far behind her head. The DFs have been quite ugly – into the middle of the net.
Absolutely gorgeous 2nd serve by Stosur down 0-30. Put it on a corner of Vicky’s service box.
Juan José: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lindsay: GORGEOUS cross-court backhand. Taking control, once again.
Stosur saves both break points. Back to deuce. Not to be overly obvious, but this is Duval’s last chance.
Juan José: Great play by Stosur to dig herself out of that quasi-self-inflicted hole.
Then that faux chip backhand lamely into the net. Another break point for Vicky!
Juan José: Stosur is playing the break points remarkably well. But it’s the non-break points that she’s making a mess of.
Lindsay: Point proven again.
Another break point for Duval!
Sigh. Another ace from Stosur.
This is UNREAL.
Juan José: Insane inside-in forehand by Duval to set up yet another break point.
Lindsay: And she gets it when Stosur’s forehand is wide!!!
Juan José: LOL – that was a hilarious point. Fantastic defense by Duval, who got herself in quite a bit of trouble by just bunting a forehand straight at Stosur’s forehand. But now the trainer is out for Vicky. Sigh.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-3*
Juan José: Vicky has 2 game points to hold serve and tie this at 4-all.
Lindsay: Yup. What did the trainer look at? My stream just came up.
Juan José: Something with Vicky’s ankle.
Duval holds! 4-all.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4*-4
Juan José: I hear ESPN has the talking heads going while this match is reaching its climax
Juan José: They actually believe that showing people discuss things will get fans to like this sport. Sigh.
Stosur tosses in her 8th double fault. Fortunately for her, it was at 40-0.
What a shot by Vicky. 40-30.
Lindsay: Oh my! Vicky has gotten it back to deuce! I didn’t see that coming.
Juan José: Break point for Vicky as Stosur sends a forehand down-the-line wide.
Once again, a monster serve by Stosur in a big moment.
Lindsay: Another great serve by Sammy. Deuce.
Juan José: break point #2 for Duval as she pounds an inside-out forehand.
Shank and a break! Vicky to serve for a chance to force a decider!
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-5*
Duval breaks!!! But can she serve out the set? That is the huge question.
Juan José: Hasn’t Vicky gotten almost all of her challenges correctly? That’s amazing.
Lindsay: The correct challenge again! Those glasses must help vision!
Juan José: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Juan José: What a mistake! Completely botched that forehand volley…which should’ve been a backhand volley, really.
OOF – now Stosur pummels a 2nd serve return, and it’s break point. Had Vicky not messed up that sitter volley, it would’ve been 40-15.
Juan José: What a way to save the break point, though – phenomenal stuff from Duval.
— Miguel Seabra (@MiguelSeabra) August 27, 2013
Lindsay: That was so clutch. She is playing like someone who has way more than six tour matches under her belt.
Juan José: A simply atrocious 2nd serve return by Stosur. Set point #1 for Vicky Duval.
Crowd starting to go nuts for her.
Lindsay: Man, night matches on Armstrong are THE BEST.
Juan José: AND WHAT A POINT
Man, this is awesome. What a match.
Lindsay: WOOOOO!!!!!! She took it!!!!!!!!!
Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6.
Juan José: More and more people are getting into Armstrong, as they should.
Lindsay: Yup. It’s going to be an electric third set. My best USO memories are when the day session on LA spills over.
Juan José: So…Samantha Jane Stosur has won only 38% of 2nd serve points. DF’ed 8 times, but still. Quite a testament to Duval’s returning.
AND……that Stosur DF should be an insta-GIF. She almost sent it to the doubles alley…of the wrong side of the court.
Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 1-0*
Juan José: What a volley by Vicky!
Lindsay: Rough serving though–and a monster return by Stosur.
Break point Sam.
Juan José: WOW! What a gutsy 2nd serve to save that break point!
Lindsay: Great serve by Vicky to save it. Deuce.
Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 1*-1
SUCH a clutch hold by Duval. She refused to go away quietly.
Juan José: Yep. This is such a dogfight. Awesome, awesome match.
Lindsay: Oooh–terrible miss by Duval, who had that shot lined up. The court was open, pulled it way long.
Easy hold by Stosur.
Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 2-1*
Juan José: Vicky has hit some great shots in this game. I’m so very impressed by her poise. And her incredible amount of talent.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 2*-2
I mean, I know they were close, but somewhere Taylor is leaning back, smiling, drinking some whiskey and proudly proclaiming, “Not my problem anymore.”
(That previous statement was brought to you after seeing the look of horror on Alicia Molik’s face.)
Juan José: LOLOLOLOL…and yes.
Sam Stosur gets out of her own way, and survives a couple of bad shanks. Still on serve in this very, very tight match.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 3-2*
Another killer return by Stosur for 15-15.
Juan José: More impressive stuff from Duval, and Sam Stosur has that subtle panicked look out there. No longer as relaxed as we saw her at the beginning of the match.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 3*-3
Juan José: 3-all, 15-all after a fantastic forehand return winner by Vicky.
Lindsay: 10 doubles from Sam. Ouch. Slight opening for Duval at 15-30.
Juan José: Wow! 15-40!
And Stosur sends a tame slice into the net – Vicky Duval has broken in the third!
Lindsay: Holy Moly!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vicky-D!!!!!
Juan José: This is nuts.
Also, how about this little stat: for the match, Vicky Duval has 12 groundstroke winners. Stosur? Just 2.
Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 3-4*
Lindsay: Chants of “USA! USA!” I get chills, I’ll admit it. I’m a cheese-ball.
Juan José: LOL!
So Vicky Duval has been up a break in every single set so far.
Lindsay: This is so similar to her Larcher de Brito match, hahaha, except she’s playing much better now.
Juan José: Stosur now complaining to her camp. The panic has set in.
Ugh, nervy double by Vicky to make it 30-15.
Lindsay: That’s not surprising.
Juan José: But that forehand comes to the rescue. 40-15.
Lindsay: I think if she holds here, she’s going to have to break for it. Serving it out is too much.
Juan José: Service winner, and Vicky Duval is a game away from the HUGE upset win.
Lindsay: 7-5, 4-6, 3*-5
Juan José: That looked in – classic early call by the lineswoman…and it’s BARELY out. Worth a challenge, though.
40-15 after a great return up the middle by Vicky, who seems like the calmer of the two.
Lindsay: What a forehand!!!!!!! She is just stealing control of these points.
Deuce! Holy moly!! Two points away!
Juan José: Wow – isn’t it amazing how many Stosur service games have gone from 40-0 to Deuce?
Lindsay: MATCH. POINT. DUVAL. After a forehand winner.
Juan José: WOW!
What a forehand!
This is nuts.
Lindsay: Stosur saves it with a great angled forehand winner. Such high quality stuff.
Juan José: Too good – top shelf shotmaking from Sam.
Lindsay: Fabulous second serve down the middle. AD Stosur.
Juan José: What a serve by Stosur to get to game point. Amazing.
Lindsay: Ooooh—then a net cord goes in Duval’s favor again! Deuce.
Juan José: That’s super unlucky – anywhere else and that trickles to the other side. After that, more clutch play from Stosur, who’s been pretty great down break point.
Lindsay: Stosur saves a MP. Duval’s going to have to serve for it. Oh man, I am so nervous *for* her.
Juan José: And Sam holds. Huge test for Vicky Duval coming up.
Lindsay: Stosur-Duval 7-5, 4-6, 4-5*
Juan José: And here we go.
Lindsay: Oh geez–forehand just wide. I like that she’s going for it, though.
Lame Stosur backhand return. 15-15.
Stosur forehand winner. 15-30.
Oh nooooooo. Duval’s forehand goes way long. 15-40.
Juan José: OOF – terrible forehand UFE by Vicky. When things have gotten tight for her, that shot has been flying on her.
Lindsay: Yup…but Stosur bails her out on the first one.
Juan José: WOW!
Lindsay: Duval saves a break point with a really, really long rally. Deuce.
(I mean, it felt really long under the circumstances.)
Juan José: Great tactical acumen by Vicky – went to Stosur’s backhand relentlessly.
Lindsay: OHMYGOD. Another MP!!!!!!!
Holy shit. forehand return winner from Stosur on a second serve.
Juan José: Bad mistake by Vicky – no need to send that 2nd serve to Stosur’s forehand. A disaster waiting to happen. Deuce.
Lindsay: Oh geeeez. Break point Sam, but then Vicky saves it with a service winner!!!!!!!! Deuce No. 3.
Juan José: What a serve to save that break point!
Lindsay: ANOTHER MATCH POINT. No. 3.
Oh geez. The backhand sails wide. She screams. Deuce 4?
Juan José: Again, that 2nd serve has to go to Stosur’s backhand; not the forehand. Getting herself in trouble here.
Lindsay: DF. Ouch. Another break point.
The serve is gone.
Fitness has to be an issue at this point. She’s so young–prob never served this much! But she saved it!
Juan José: What a 2nd serve on that break point. Just nuts. And Stosur makes another mistake by trying to go down-the-line with the backhand. That’s probably her worst shot.
Lindsay: MATCH. POINT. FOUR.
This is insane, JJ. INSANE.
SHE DOES IT. ON A FOREHAND WINNER.
Juan José: Service winner, match point, and then….the cross-court forehand!!!!
She did it! Unbelievable.
Lindsay: Duval d. Stosur 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. That. Was. Amazing.
Juan José: Absolutely. What a performance.
Lindsay: Well, we picked a great match to chat!