Danielle Collins admitted she was a 'little embarrassed' after suffering a hilarious brain fade during her second round win against Karolina Muchova at the Australian Open on Wednesday night. Collins booked her spot in the third round courtesy of a 6-7 (1/7), 6-2, 7-6 (10/6) win.
The American - who lost to Ash Barty in last year's Australian Open final - forgot they were playing to 10-points in the third set super tiebreak. After getting to seven points in the deciding set breaker, Collins dropped her racquet to the ground and gave out a huge sigh of relief, as if she'd just won.
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The chair umpire quickly interjected by reminding Collins that she needed to reach 10 points in order to clinch victory. The American looked genuinely perplexed as she walked towards the chair, before the realisation dawned on her. Thankfully for Collins, the awkward gaffe did not derail the 29-year-old as she claimed the super tiebreak, 10-6.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 18, 2023
“I was a little embarrassed,” Collins said about the incident after the match. “I never had to play a tie break in the third set at a grand slam so I thought the match was over.
“I just told myself at least you didn’t face plant on the floor, I was trying to keep things in perspective. I am not good with the score, sometimes I forget. I need to work on that one a bit!”
Tennis fans couldn't help but have a laugh at the expense of the 13th seed. Many also expressed their relief that the embarrassing moment didn't cost her the match.
Well this is something. Danielle Collins thought she won it in the tiebreak at 7-3, yet it’s the champions tiebreak in all the Slams. If she loses now…
— Taylor Toney-Green (@TaylorTG_) January 18, 2023
Danielle Collins drops her racket on the floor and starts thanking God because she thought she won the match when she got to 7 in the final set 10 point tiebreak 😂
Gotta love her
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) January 18, 2023
Danielle Collins forgetting the rules of the super tiebreak and thinking she'd won could be one of the sporting moments of 2023 if she doesn't wrap this up #AO2023
— Geoff Koop (@GKoop93) January 18, 2023
Danielle Collins thought she'd won the match at 7-3.
Dropped the racquet, arms over the head, the whole thing.
Watching the realisation slowly dawn was like a horror movie. pic.twitter.com/tstH9vwE97
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 18, 2023
Collins will now face No. 22 seed Elena Rybakina in the third round of the Australian Open. The Kazakh beat proved too good for the Slovenian on Wednesday, winning their second round encounter, 6-2 6-1.
Coco Gauff wins battle of young guns
Elsewhere on Wednesday night, Coco Gauff beat Emma Raducanu in a battle of the rising stars on a day three where Melbourne's famously fickle weather wreaked more havoc.
Play on most courts was stopped because of extreme heat and then matches were suspended later in the day on the outside courts by heavy rain. More rain fell on Wednesday as organisers frantically tried to clear a backlog of matches, with only those played under the roofs of the main three stadiums beginning on time.
18-year-old American Gauff, seen as the heir to now-retired Serena Williams, defeated former US Open champion Raducanu 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). It was a first-ever meeting between the two and a glimpse of an exciting future for women's tennis.
The two good friends went toe-to-toe throughout, exchanging service breaks, but the turning point came in the second set when the American grittily saved two set points at 4-5. Gauff then edged past the 20-year-old Briton on her third match point in the tiebreak, before they embraced warmly at the net.
"The whole match was great and considering the circumstances I can imagine both of us was nervous. This was a long-anticipated match-up since the draw came out," said Gauff.
Earlier, World No.1 Iga Swiatek and dangerous American Jessica Pegula led the charge into the third round. Polish title favourite Swiatek swept past Colombia's Camila Osorio 6-2, 6-3 while third seed Pegula downed Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).
Greece's Maria Sakkari also went through, but she looked anything but the sixth seed in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 struggle against Russian qualifier and college student Diana Shnaider. Sakkari was irked by Shnaider's fist pumps and celebratory screams, before finding her composure to book her place in the third round.
Aryan Sabalenka kicked off the opening match on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday with a thumping 6-3, 6-1 win over American Shelby Rogers.
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