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“Doesn’t stick with you,” the third-seeded Russian said.

A mostly low-intrigue Day 1 was about as bad as could be for the German contingent: The only top-20 seeded women who lost were No. 16 Sabine Lisicki and No. 18 Julia Goerges, while the only seeded man to exit was No. 22 Florian Mayer. He stopped because he felt dizzy and had blurred vision while trailing 19-year-old Jack Sock of the United States 6-3, 6-2, 3-2.

“Overall, my physicality is better this year,” said Sock, who teamed with Melanie Oudin to win the mixed doubles championship at the 2011 U.S. Open and has been working with Andre Agassi’s former trainer, Gil Reyes.

Both No. 1-seeded players won without any trouble, with 17-time major champion Roger Federer improving to 22-0 in U.S. Open night matches by overwhelming Donald Young of the U.S. 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, and Victoria Azarenka quietly getting past Alexandra Panova of Russia 6-0, 6-1.

Before Federer held court on Ashe, it was Clijsters‘ turn.

And Duval‘s.

“I was freaking out,” the bubbly, squeaky-voiced Duval acknowledged.

Duval, who lives in Boca Raton, Fla., explained that being cheered by thousands of fans while walking out to face Clijsters was an “indescribable feeling.”

“It was much more than I expected. The whole atmosphere was just incredible,” she said. “I was really nervous. But I thought I did a good job of not showing it.”

Young as she is, Duval has dealt with some trying life experiences already. She was born in Florida, but grew up in Haiti, where her parents were from, and as a kid, Duval and some cousins were taken hostage by robbers. Then, in January 2010, when a massive earthquake struck Haiti, her father was buried in rubble, his legs broken, but survived.

“It helped my tennis in the sense that in those circumstances, we were just saying: No matter how tough things get, you’re always going to get out of it.’ So in my tennis, that’s basically what I’ve been living by,” Duval said. “No matter how down and out I am, I can get out of it.”

After dropping the first two games Monday, Duval took advantage of a series of forehand errors by Clijsters to take the next three for a 3-2 lead after 13 minutes.

“Walking to the chair, I was like, ‘I am actually up 3-2 right now!’” Duval said, her eyes closed as she replayed the moment in her mind.

And then?

“She definitely picked up her level a lot,” Duval said. “She played like Kim Clijsters from that point on.”

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