Australian Open: College princess Danielle Collins pens history as first..
- Author: Julie Sanders Jan 22, 2019,
Jan 22, 2019, 17:54
Collins, an unseeded 25-year-old and former Northeast High standout, reached the semifinals of the Australian Open with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory Tuesday against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russian Federation.
And the 25-year-old from Florida continued her Cinderella run by bouncing back spectacularly to down Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.
This was a meeting between two players looking to make the last four at a major for the first time, but it was Collins who swept through the third set, clinching her third match point when Pavlyuchenkova missed a forehand. "I definitely had a letdown for many games straight, gave her that confidence".
Hence her emotion after snuffing out good friend Barty's challenge. She held serve with an ace, energising the crowd but Kvitova responded with two of her own to fend off Barty's first break point of the match.
While Chisholm might be unprepared for an extended stay in the southern hemisphere, Collins has seemed completely at home the second week of a Slam, unfazed by the pressure of playing in the first Australian Open main draw of her career. "She's an wonderful human being", she said. I don't think there's any room here (pointing to her head) to think about it.
Barty, 22, will contest her first major quarter-final against the explosive Kvitova on Tuesday evening, who is in fearsome form - and is yet to lose to the Australian. 'I feel like I came back a better person on and off the court, a better tennis player.
But Barty's career was in crisis a few years ago, when the Queenslander walked away from the sport she had played since she was a toddler. 'I have spoken about my shoulder openly in the last few weeks, months, years, ' she said.' 'It's definitely been an issue for the majority of last year and going into this year, as well.
"She's very tenacious", One of Collins' coaches Mat Cloer said in Melbourne after her win over Kerber.
It is only three years since Barty came back to tennis after an Australian summer in which she represented the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League.
"I think I love to play with freedom and fun and try and create as much variety as possible".
The two-time NCAA collegiate tennis champion smashed 29 winners to beat Kerber under an hour but found the going hard against the Russian at the start and had her first hold of serve only in the seventh game.
But if there is anyone in Melbourne who isn't surprised by the play of the two-time NCAA singles champ from the University of Virginia, it is Danielle Collins. The Kvitova v Barty match will be played at 7 pm local time (9 am BST).
The crescendo of national hysteria ahead of the match was abruptly squashed when the eight-seed rocked Barty to claim the first set at breakneck speed. She left the court as hastily as she decently could this night, flashing a wry smile as she went. There are matches when I am nervous, but I can't really do anything with that.