MELBOURNE— A super upset just occurred down under on the women’s draw. American Danielle Collins, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this year’s Australian Open, defeated three-time Major champion Angelique Kerber 6-0 6-2 in less than an hour. The young American becomes the first female college player since Lisa Raymond in 2004 to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
“I know I didn’t win a Grand Slam match before Australia. But I want more moments like this. It feels amazing to be headed to a Grand Slam quarterfinal,” said Collins.
Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Collins fell in love with tennis at an early age. After a successful junior career, Collins committed to playing NCAA tennis at the University of Virginia. She excelled at UVA, winning the NCAA singles titles twice. Upon graduating with a media studies degree, Collins became the top collegiate player in the nation. With the success she had in college, Collins proved why going down the NCAA route might be beneficial to not only become a better athlete but get a quality education.
Her breakthrough year came in 2018, when she her first WTA 125K tournament at Newport Beach. This earned her a wild card to the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where she advanced to the fourth round with victories over Taylor Townsend and Madison Keys. She credits her coaching to give her the confidence to have success.
“My coaches always tell me to go out and play with aggression and confidence. If I play with nothing to lose, I feel my game is at my best,” said Collins.
It’s clear the 25-year-old plays with a chip on her shoulder. Her swagger was put on full display against Kerber. Collins utilized a mix of offense and defense, constantly throwing Kerber off guard. The American’s shotmaking was overpowering for Kerber, who had trouble all match using her powerful ground strokes.
Who knows how the rest of the tournament will fare for young Collins? But after only dropping two games against one of the best players in the world, the future is bright for the young American to have success on the tour.
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