View Full Version : Two mothers hard work and sacrifice. Two daughters talent and drive. Two rising stars

Jun 9th, 2007, 10:52 PM


Parents' love motivates young tennis stars

Two mothers' hard work and sacrifice. Two daughters' talent and drive. Net result: Two rising stars.


It's usually around 3 or 4 a.m., as she is serving yet another cocktail, when single mother Paula Liverpool asks herself why she's bartending at a strip club till 5 in the morning when she must get up at 8 for her day job.

And then her mind turns to Sachia Vickery, her 12-year-old daughter -- tucked away in bed in Miramar in her grandmother's care, resting her chiseled body for another day of elite tennis training.

Sachia, the nation's No. 1-ranked junior player in the 12-and-under division, is already winning tournaments against 14-year-olds. And her mother, an immigrant from Guyana, will do anything to make sure her only daughter can compete ``with the girls who carry Louis Vuitton luggage to tournaments.''

Nadine Duval understands completely. She left behind her physician husband and a neonatology practice in Haiti to move to South Florida to give her children a better life. Among them is daughter Victoria, 11, No. 3 in the 12-and-unders, who could end up across the net from Sachia this weekend at the Florida State Closed championship in Daytona Beach.

Theirs are parallel stories of parents who haven't pushed their kids into competitive sports but who've sacrificed plenty to get them there.

Liverpool spends roughly $3,500 a month on Sachia's tennis, mostly on travel and private coaching at the Patrick McEnroe Tennis Academy on Grove Isle. Sometimes, when she can't get away from work, she sends her daughter and mother to tournaments on a Greyhound bus.

By day, she is an administrator for Kaplan University. Four nights a week, when she bartends at Club Rolexx in North Miami, she gets by on three hours' sleep.

''Sachia's tennis is not a fad,'' Liverpool says. ``She is very motivated and talented, and I want to be able to make her dream come true.''


Maurice Duval, the young player's father, maintains his obstetrics practice in Haiti so Nadine can spend her day home-schooling Victoria and driving her from their Delray Beach home to Key Biscayne to train at the USTA High Performance Training Center, where she earned a scholarship.

She also looks after sons Leo, who plays tennis at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, and Cedric, who plays at Lynn University. Victoria talks to her father by phone every night and sees him every three months.

''It's frustrating for me to have given up my practice, but I'm happy as a Mom,'' Duval says. ``I feel I have a responsibility to my children, and sometimes things are good for them, even if they're not good for you.''

Both girls say they were inspired by Venus and Serena Williams.

''Venus and Serena gave little black girls everywhere somebody to look up to,'' said Liverpool. ``They see there's somebody who looks like them winning tennis tournaments all over the world, someone with a similar background, somebody not rich, and it motivates these girls to follow their dreams.''

Unlike young tennis players pushed into the sport by parents, Sachia and Victoria picked it up entirely on their own. Sachia's interest in tennis was a new twist in an already-athletic family: Her mother had been a national-class sprinter in Guyana; her father, Rawle Vickery, who is divorced from her mother and lives in Ohio, was a soccer player.

When she was 5, Sachia asked her grandma for a racket at the dollar store. She started hitting balls against a wall at the house for hours at a time, never getting bored.

'She'd say, `I'm going to be the next Serena,' and I thought it was a fad that would go away,'' Paula Liverpool said. ``But once I took her to Pembroke Lakes Tennis Club for lessons, she took off -- and all I can do is go along for the ride.''

Duval's mother was a ballerina for a major troupe, and her grandfather was a saxophonist. Victoria took ballet as a little girl but liked tennis better, partly because she wanted to be more like her brothers. She started training at the Rick Macci Academy in Deerfield Beach and got connected with the USTA when former tour pro and USTA coach Lori McNeil saw her play in a tournament.

Barely five-foot-one with a high-pitched voice, Victoria is often teased by bigger, older players. ''When I beat them, they stop making fun of me,'' she says.

''I'm a smart player, and a fighter, like Serena and [Israeli player] Shahar Peer,'' she says. And her dreams are bold: ``I want to be No. 1 in the world by age 16.''


Sachia, even with her mouthful of braces, also is mature beyond her years. ''I love tennis because every time I hit that ball across the net it makes me feel like I can do anything, be anyone I want to be,'' she says. ``There is nothing I love more than tennis, but I do love reading, too. I love Harry Potter books.''

Liverpool believes her daughter's hunger to excel stems partly from their financial struggles, and she reinforces the lesson. When they flew standby to Paris because that's what they could afford, Liverpool told her daughter she'd have to work twice as hard so one day she'd be sitting in first class.

Patrick McEnroe sees the potential: ''Sachia is a great kid, spunky, very fit, clean baseline game, and she really knows how to play the court,'' he says.

Her coach, former tour pro Laurence Tieleman, is equally impressed: ``What's remarkable about Sachia is not so much how she strikes the ball, because a lot of girls can do that, but it's how she understands the game so well.''

Victoria's coach, Jai Dilouie, is equally effusive about his star. ''Other kids have good strokes but don't compete well,'' he said. ``Vicki is ultra competitive, plays smart shots, and knows how to win.''

Both girls are well aware of what their mothers have done for them.
Victoria says she ''feels bad'' about her mother's sacrifice and vows to make her proud.

Sachia says her mother ``inspires me to fight. She worked so hard for me to be here, I can't lose.''

Liverpool hated moonlighting from the very first night. ''But the next week was Memorial Day, and I made $2,500 in tips over three days,'' she says. ``I decided right then that I'd stick with it, because Sachia needs me to.''
Says Sachia: ``When I win, she wins, too.''


Sachia Vickery, 12, of Miramar is the nation's No. 1-ranked junior player in the 12-and-under division. She plays this weekend at a state championship in Daytona Beach.


Nadine Duval home-schools Victoria, 11, and drives her from their Delray Beach home to Key Biscayne to train.

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Jun 9th, 2007, 11:24 PM
Wow, Sachia mom's seems really determined for her daughter to suceed, that's great to see! :worship:

Jun 10th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Wow Great story any link to the event she plays in ?

Jun 10th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Found Event

1st Round: Sachia Vickery Bt Deborah Saurez 6-2 6-0

Jun 10th, 2007, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the link. I'm gonna look out for this girl in the future, hope she does well!!!

Jun 10th, 2007, 03:50 PM
1st Round
Victoria Duval [2] d. Catalina Ene | 6-4 6-3

Jun 11th, 2007, 03:18 AM
Good luck to both of them. Tennis is so not the fairy tale it is often described to be.

Jun 11th, 2007, 04:54 PM
2nd Round
Sachia d. S. Southern 60 61!
Duval d. L. Wiley 61 62

Jun 12th, 2007, 02:56 PM
Sachia beat 8th seed Colton 6-2 6-1 and Victoria got past 11 seed 7-5 6-1 :D:D

Jun 13th, 2007, 01:26 PM
Sachia beats 3rd seed 6-4 6-3 :D Victoria fought down5th seed 7-5 6-3 hope tey meet in the final :D

Jun 13th, 2007, 03:13 PM
It would be quite amazing indeed!

Jun 13th, 2007, 08:47 PM
Vickery(12) d. Jones(1) 7-5 7-5
Duval(2)d. Bodine(4) 6-7 6-2 6-2
WoW :eek: :eek: :eek: Congrats! :D Hope they play a great final :)

Jun 13th, 2007, 09:23 PM
Wow!! :eek:
Congrats to both! :D

Jun 14th, 2007, 08:41 PM
Sachia won 7-6; 3-6; 6-1! Well done, also to Victoria for getting to the final

Jun 14th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Congrats :worship:

Jun 15th, 2007, 03:42 AM
Quite sthing that they both managed to reach the final, im sure some motivation came from the interview!

Nov 30th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Vickery was RU in Eddie Herr U12

Dec 14th, 2007, 04:34 AM
Cool story!!:D

Dec 14th, 2007, 07:21 PM
What an inspirational story!!

Dec 16th, 2007, 08:03 PM
She also reached U12 Final of Prince Cup this week!

Dec 18th, 2007, 02:02 PM
Victoria won first round at Orange Bowl 60 60

Apr 20th, 2008, 09:30 PM

Preteens catch guru's eye, train for tennis fame

Posted on Sun, Apr. 20, 2008


Nick Bollettieri knows a good young tennis player when he sees one. His list of former pupils reads like a Hall of Fame ballot -- Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Boris Becker.Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova have also gotten their share of tips from the gregarious guru with the famous academy in Bradenton.

So, when he laid eyes on South Florida 12-year-olds Sachia Vickery and Victoria Duval a few months ago, he knew right away that he wanted to tuck them under his wing and try to develop them while they are still young.

Both come from financially strapped homes (Vickery's mom took a second job bartending at a North Miami strip club to fund her daughter's dream), so Bollettieri offered them scholarships. They have been training in Bradenton since February.

Their mothers and Vickery's grandmother moved with them. Vickery's mother, Paula Liverpool, is there Monday through Friday, then drives five hours home to tend bar Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
''It's a big commitment, but when Sachia got the offer, she told me we have to take it,'' Liverpool said. ``This is her dream and she has a burning desire, so I'm doing what I can to help her.''

The girls wake up at 4 a.m. and train from 5 to 6, 9 to 10, and noon to 1 p.m. They play practice matches from 4:30 to 6 p.m. In between, they are home-schooled through the Internet.

The hard work is already paying off. Vickery, of Miramar, last Saturday won the 14-and-under Easter Bowl title in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after knocking off top seed Kyle McPhillips of Ohio. Vickery and Duval, both still 12, were the youngest girls in the draw.

Duval, of Delray Beach, reached the round of 16 before losing to McPhillips.

''I want to help the future of American tennis, and it's important to find youngsters like Vicki and Sachia, girls who have so many fantastic qualities, such talent, and really, really love the sport,'' Bollettieri said.
'Would you believe when they got off the plane from California, the first thing they did was come to the court and ask if they could practice? They have passion. They say, `Thank you.' They give hugs when they leave the court. And they are A students. This is what our country needs. They have the potential to be darn good.''

Bollettieri said both have exceptional ground strokes and are comfortable at the net or along the baseline.

''Sachia's movement on the court is breathtaking,'' he said. ``She is never off balance. Her grip and swing pattern are terrific. She and Vicki are still young, but they have the foundation to be able to play this game at a high level. It's exciting.''

Apr 25th, 2008, 10:48 PM

Nick Bollettieri with Sachia Vickery and Alicia Black

Jun 9th, 2008, 04:45 PM
Sachia won her the lone U18 event she played so far (a G5 in Costa Rica),but this week she's back playing Grass Court Championships, a G3.

Jun 10th, 2008, 09:07 AM
International Grass Court Championships G3 R1:
Vickery (1995,13yo) [unr] d. Bartnik[2] (1991,16yo) [87] 6-3 (3)6-7 7-5 :eek: That's a shocking win!

Jun 21st, 2008, 11:41 AM
Sachia continues her good urn , reaching the finals in Singles/Doubles of a G5 in Bermuda :)

Sep 13th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Sachia reaches the Quarter Finals of a G2 beating the #21 [16yo] on the way :eek: And she's just 13! :eek:

Dec 5th, 2008, 10:19 PM
Eddie Herr:
Sachia lost in R1 [U18]
Victoria is in semifinals [U14]

Good Luck :)

Dec 7th, 2008, 04:23 PM
I have seen Sachia play on a few occasions and you can tell from first impressions that she will be really good one day.

Dec 10th, 2008, 12:04 AM
Sachia won her R1 match in the U18 draw of the Orange Bowl.

Sachia Vickery d. Sina Haas 6-0 6-3

She's set to play Ana Bogdan of Romania, the number one seed, in the second round. Good luck!

Dec 13th, 2008, 02:25 AM
I love this story. We'll be watching them on TV in a few years!

Jan 29th, 2010, 05:49 PM
Go Sachia, time to shine! :bounce:

Nov 2nd, 2012, 08:47 PM
Good tournament for both in $50K Saguenay. Top 500 (top 400 for Vickery) and rising :bounce:

Nov 2nd, 2012, 09:06 PM
Loved seeing this a few years later with both girls on the climb. :)

Nov 7th, 2012, 07:07 AM
Great article best of luck to both, hopefully one day they will be in a position to treat their parents to a very nice holiday/house etc....

Nov 10th, 2012, 10:48 PM
amazing to read this a couple years later!

Feb 4th, 2013, 07:29 PM
Sachia and Victoria are playing against each other in the last round of qualifying in $100K Midland this week.
Plus they are pairing together for the doubles main draw :bounce:

Feb 4th, 2013, 08:26 PM
That's what I was about to post. So awesome! :hearts: :cheer:

Jul 23rd, 2013, 08:32 PM
These stories of their mothers are incredbile :eek:. I really hope these two can make at least the top 100!!

I have to say though, the scary part is that these girls seem to have been fairly successful so far but there are other people out there working this hard that don't get anywhere :sad:.

Aug 7th, 2013, 08:25 PM
Wow thats crazy looking back! :eek: :)

Aug 13th, 2013, 04:28 PM
This is such a cute story :awww:
I'm glad they both are doing good

Aug 13th, 2013, 06:40 PM
Sachia just won a MDWC to the USO this past week too :cheer:

Aug 28th, 2013, 02:13 AM
Bump! :eek: Both won US Open maindraw R1s. :)

Aug 28th, 2013, 07:17 AM
So happy for Both girls been following they're result for a while, Hope they can it up with another win in the second round