The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 28, 2013

American teen Duval stuns '11 champ Stosur at Open

(Continued)

Perhaps. But Duval's game also has benefited from time spent in heady company recently, including mentoring from Billie Jean King and tips from famed tennis coach Nick Bolletieri.

"We have a great relationship," Duval said. "I call him Uncle Nick."

Seconding Stosur's assessment, Duval summed up their match this way: "Although she didn't play nearly her best today, I played amazing, so I'll take it."

And why shouldn't she? We've seen this sort of thing before, and rather recently: In 2009, another 17-year-old American, Melanie Oudin, made it all the way to the quarterfinals in New York by upsetting a series of seeded players, including past champion Maria Sharapova. This year, Oudin lost in U.S. Open qualifying.

Next for Duval, who wears white-framed eyeglasses and a visor on court, is a matchup against Daniela Hantuchova, who has been ranked as high as No. 5 and been a Grand Slam quarterfinalist.

But for an evening, anyway, Duval wanted to relish the biggest win of her nascent career.

And the kid sure seemed to be having a grand old time speaking to reporters, describing herself as "very goofy off the court" and "a child at heart."

So it made sense that when the subject of the "SpongeBob" cartoon series came up during her media session, she pointed out that "Gary's cute; Gary doesn't get enough credit."

And she brought this up, too: "I heard that Lil Wayne tweeted me. I need to go check that out. I don't have Twitter. I'm going to go hit that up."

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