US star Danielle Collins takes shock Miami Open win in emotional farewell season

Danielle Collins enjoyed a fairytale Miami Open this week, winning one of the biggest titles of her career and accomplishing one of her major goals before she retires at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old American, who reached the 2022 Australian Open final, stunned No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s final to win her first ever WTA 1000 event, and her first title at any level since 2021.

Collins has endured much adversity over the years, battling a number of health issues including rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis, and announced in January that this would be her farewell season.

Despite this, she has achieved much in her career, including becoming the world No. 7 and highest ranked American female player at one point.

“I have always wanted to win every tournament that I have signed up for, but I do think that because it is my last year, I’m like, I really want to try to win a [WTA] 1000 this year,” Collins said afterwards, per the WTA. “That’s really important to me. That’s something that I talked a lot about with everybody close to me.”

Collins, currently the world No. 53, produced an imperious display filled with powerful hitting to become the lowest ranked woman to ever win the Miami Open.

Collins defeated the 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the Miami Open final. - Frey/TPN/Getty Images
Collins defeated the 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the Miami Open final. - Frey/TPN/Getty Images

During an evenly-poised set, she saved four break points to hold serve at 4-3, before saving another at 5-5 to keep the pressure on Rybakina.

And when the Kazakh faltered and conceded three set points at 6-5, Collins pounced to take the first set.

Similarly, the second set remained closely fought as the pair exchanged breaks of serve, before Rybakina squandered two break points and Collins converted hers to take a 5-3 lead. She sealed the win shortly afterwards on her fourth match point.

Competing on home soil, the Floridian was roared on by a crowd so enthusiastic she felt like she was “playing in front of thousands of my best friends.”

“That was just surreal,” she said, according to the WTA. “I will never forget this day because of that.”

She became the sixth American woman to win the Miami Open, following in the footsteps of Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens.

Despite her success in Miami, Collins said she will not reconsider her decision to retire.

“I feel like all of these questions are coming from such a good place, because I feel like a lot of people would like to continue seeing me play well,” she told Sky Sports.

“But like I said, I have some health challenges, and with those health challenges, it makes things for me away from the court a little more difficult. I hope everyone can respect that. It’s a very emotional and personal thing.”

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