Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday March 28, 2024

Danielle Collins

Danielle Collins rocked past Ekaterina Alexandrova to reach her first WTA 1000 final.

Photo Source: Miami Open, Hard Rock Stadium

Time is running out on Danielle Collins’ career, but the fire inside her belly appears to be burning brighter than ever.

Tennis Express

This week in Miami the 53rd-ranked American – aka DANIMAL – has torn through the draw, winning her last ten sets on her way to becoming the second lowest-ranked finalist in Miami Open history. At 30 years of age, Collins also became the fourth-oldest WTA 1000 finalist in history.

On Thursday she closed out the night session with an imperious 6-3, 6-2 takedown of Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova – she will meet fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina for the title on Saturday.

"To have made the finals, first finals of a 1000-level in my home state during my last season, this is just great," the Florida native told reporters. "I mean, the memories made this week on and off the court, I'm just over the moon.

"A day off tomorrow, hit the golf course, play a little tennis. Living the dream. Living the dream in Miami."

Collins, who announced plans to retire from the sport earlier this season, is clearly inspired to finish her playing days with some good memories.

With the finish line in sight, is she playing better than ever? Could be...

She needed just 75 minutes to take out the woman who had upset world No.1 Iga Swiatek and fifth-ranked Jessica Pegula in back-to-back rounds, dropping just 11 points on serve and converting four of 12 break points in a match she dominated from start to finish.

"I've had a couple of good years here, but this is definitely the most memorable," former world No.7 Collins said afterwards. "I followed all of [Alexandrova's] matches this tournament, and it was so fun watching her. We have a similar game style, so it's tricky when it's like that. Because of that, I had to concentrate harder, had to react faster, and it really forced me to play at my highest level."

Collins will bid to become the first American champion since Sloane Stephens in 2018 when she faces Rybakina for the fifth time in the final. The Kazakh has taken the pair’s last three meetings (3-1 overall) but she will enter the match carrying some fatigue, after going through four consecutive three-setters to reach the final.

Each of their past three meetings have gone three sets.

Collins, the 2022 Australian Open runner-up, is already projected to rise to No.28 in the rankings, and if she wins the title she could rise as high as No.23/

A nice reward - to be seeded in the last few majors of her career - but for now the focus remains on tracking down what would be her biggest title...


Latest News