Danielle Collins will play the French Open again this year. She made the quarterfinal at last years delayed event, defeating Garbine Muguruza en route. The American will have much lower expectations this time.
The World #50 last played a competitive match in Miami in March. Collins is also only eight weeks post operation to treat the crippling endometriosis she has suffered with since graduating college in 2016. Endometriosis affects only women–it is a long-term condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
The actual cause of endometriosis is unknown; it could be genetic or connected to the immune system. Treatment can be as simple as pain relief. In the case of, Collins however, the pain was so intense and crippling that surgery was the only option.
Growth the Size of a Tennis Ball
Not a nice option, but Collins told The Telegraph that since the operation the pain has subsided. The American stated, “My doctor was adamant. She said I would be ready for the French Open, but they had to tear through the abdominal muscles, so there was a lot of rehabbing involved. They removed a cyst the size of a tennis ball from my ovary, as well as material from my bowel and bladder. But I’ve felt such relief since.”
Collins has suffered no flu-like symptoms, and had not missed any practices in the last two weeks (six weeks post surgery). Endometriosis is rarely talked about. However, about 10% of women worldwide are affected by the condition. Debilitating pain and other symptoms are not universally understood, unless you are a sufferer yourself.
Since such a short period of time has elapsed since the operation, Collins will be unsure how her game is. Practice is different than matches, obviously. The American will play Xiyu Wang in the first round at Roland Garros. The qualifier will not be an easy opponent, having the benefit of matches under the belt.
The World #50 wants to encourage other women suffering from very painful periods to start a conversation, to see a specialist. Getting a second opinion never hurts, and could diagnose the issue much earlier. The American will take to the court early on Day 1 to open the tournament.
How far Danielle Collins will progress through the event is unknown. If determination and fight over a debilitating condition are yardsticks, then the American could do very well indeed.
Main Photo from Getty.