TODAY   |  August 29, 2013

U.S Open underdog familiar with tough challenges

Though she’s the 298th seed, 17-year-old Victoria Duval is the buzz of the U.S. Open after defeating 2011 Open champion Samantha Stosur in the first round. But it wasn’t the only challenge she’s faced over the years. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> to the talented teen who pulled off a major upset at the u.s. open tennis champion. nbc's katy tur caught up with the 17-year-old to talk about her big win and newfound fame.

>> she's done it!

>> reporter: you don't have to understand tennis to understand this reaction. that was the moment 17-year-old victoria duval unseated 2011 u.s. open champion, samantha stosur . in the first round. virtually unknown before that, you can bet it was a big moment for the teenager.

>> i just tried to stay in the moment. i don't know, i'm really excited right now.

>> reporter: 298th seeded duval is now the talk of the tournament. with reporters lining up to find out exactly who she is, how she won, and what she was thinking.

>> i don't remember too much. people have asked me, do you even remember the match point? i don't even remember what happened match point. i was just really excited. it was overwhelming.

>> reporter: overwhelming, an understatement for a girl who has had her share of hard times . held at knife point as a child in haiti, her family moved to miami. then during the 2010 earthquake, her father back in haiti was buried under rubble for hours. barely surviving. duval said the experiences only made her stronger.

>> i am brave for the stuff that's happened. obviously it's given me a better perspective about life. and it's just given me a lot of courage.

>> reporter: on the court, duval has proved herself to be a warrior. now all she has to do is keep fighting.

>> hopefully i can play like this again, and we'll see how it goes.

>> reporter: for "today," katy tur, nbc news, new york.

>> what a face and what a player. ranked 296th in the world and didn't beat some pushover. she beat a grand slam champion in that match.

>> a u.s. open champion just two years ago. she walks on to that court. 296th seed. had to qualify for the draw. her next match is scheduled for later today.

>> can we say we're rooting for her a little bit.