The Guardian newspaper called them â€śodd-ballâ€ť glasses. Sports Illustrated called them â€śquirky.” The Daily News said they were â€śfunky.â€ťâ€™
Yes, for all of her stellar play here at the US Open after a breathtaking win over 2011 champion Samantha Stosur Tuesday night, many observers can’t take their eyes off â€¦ Victoria Duvalâ€™s glasses.
It’s easy to see why. With all the options available to top-flight athletes to improve their vision, itâ€™s a rarity to see an individual athlete wear goggles on the court or field of play (Unless that sport was say, field hockey, womens lacrosse â€¦ or swimming). But for teenagers, experts say that LASIK corrective surgery is usually not a good idea. Most teens receive the procedure to repair severe abnormalities.
Doctors say that since most teenagersâ€™ bodies are still developing, procedures such as LASIK are discouraged.
And as evidenced by Duvalâ€™s struggle in the past year with her serve: she’s actually still growing.
â€śMy serve is getting better,â€ť she said, acknowledging she had zero aces against Stosur. â€śItâ€™s definitely better than it was last year but Iâ€™ve gone through a couple of stages of struggling with it because Iâ€™ve been having a couple growth spurts and I think my balance is a little off.â€ť
Tiger Woods was said to be so severely nearsighted that he said he was considered legally blind without glasses or contacts. He received a first procedure in 1999 — at 28 — after which he won his first tournament, the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. Woods got another procedure in the spring of 2007.
Itâ€™s not immediately clear why Duval doesnâ€™t wear contacts. There could a comfort level with the goggles; Woods, for instance, complained that they were often irritable to his eyes under windy conditions.
And thereâ€™s this little tidbit from the FDA: â€śCurrently, no lasers are approved for LASIK on persons under the age of 18.â€ť
Vision aside, Duval seems to have a good head on her shoulders — and doesn’t seem to be taking herself too seriously, despite the media’s repeated attempts to bring up her poignant and sometimes tragic backstory.
â€śIâ€™m very goofy off the court,â€ť she said Tuesday. â€śI think I’m very much of a child at heart. But on the court you have to be a warrior because thatâ€™s just the [nature of the sport]. Off the court I think itâ€™s important to have fun and be a good role model for other people.â€ť