NEW YORK (AP) — Victoria Duval couldn't believe little kids were telling a teenager that she's their role model.
"I think for a 17-year-old, that's pretty cool to hear," she said about her U.S. Open experience that lasted all of two matches but will be remembered much longer.
After upsetting 2011 champion Sam Stosur, Duval spent two days as the darling of the tournament. Then she ran into a veteran player 12½ years her senior who reminded everyone that the young American is still a 296th-ranked qualifier.
Daniela Hantuchova won 6-2, 6-3 in the second round Thursday. Duval was up a break early in each set, but those leads quickly evaporated.
"I don't think I ever felt free in the match today," Duval said. "I don't think it had to do with the score or anything. She hits really hard. I couldn't quite get myself going. I gave myself a couple chances, but I just never felt comfortable today."
Duval got goose bumps when she saw video of her breakthrough victory in the locker room Wednesday. It was just her second Grand Slam match; she lost to another former champ, Kim Clijsters, in the first round of last year's U.S. Open.
After beating Stosur, Duval did interview after interview after interview.
"It was overwhelming," she said. "But I think this is what it's all about."