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Montreal: August 3, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Toronto: August 4, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Montreal : August 3 - 12, 2024
Toronto : August 4 - 12, 2024

Danielle Collins Catches Fire

Danielle Collins has never been at a loss for words. The quick-witted and fiery American has always been known for her sharp tongue but lately it has been her racquet that has done the talking for her.

Collins has had a formidable career to this point, with two titles prior to 2024 and a career-high ranking of No. 7 in the world which she achieved back in the summer of 2022. This year, however, she has had a first quarter of the season to remember with back-to-back tournament wins in Miami and Charleston.

What makes Collins hot start to the year all the more amazing is the fact that she will be retiring from professional tennis at the end of the season, making her desire to start a family known to the public.

Collins has had stretches of success on the WTA Tour and is known to come out of the gates swinging in the early parts of the year. The Aussie swing has shown some of her most consistent results as evidenced by her performance at the Australian Open with a semifinalist appearance in 2019 and then in 2022, she made the final before falling to Ashleigh Barty.

While her firepower translates more to the hard courts, Collins proved recently in Charleston that she can be a menace on clay as well. On her way to the title she beat a quality list of opponents including Paula Badosa, Ons Jabeur (the only player to take a set off her), Sloane Stephens, Elise Mertens, Maria Sakkari and then Daria Kasatkina in the final.

Read also: Who Can Challenge Iga Swiatek on Clay? 

Her current win streak stands at an impressive 13 matches and she has inserted herself into the conversation of ones to watch as the clay court season gets going.

After reaching the final of Miami, Collins was asked in her press conference if her recent surge might compel her to rethink her impending retirement at the end of the season. Her answer revealed the deeply personal nature of her thought process on the subject:

"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. 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."

Read also: Clay-Court Transition Extra Prominent on 2024 Calendar

For many female tennis players, the challenge of balancing their playing careers with a desire to start a family is an extremely difficult one. Unlike their male counterparts who can immediately continue competing after becoming parents, women obviously will need much more time to physically return to be ready to compete again. 

While we’ve seen WTA stars like Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber become mothers and then put in the time to come back to the tour, it’s a little more complicated for Collins.

Read also: Rob Shaw Scores Big in Japan

In recent years she has been diagnosed with both rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis, making it truly amazing what she’s been able to accomplish in this later part of her career. Collins has morphed into a role model for other women, especially those who are athletes and fighting something as challenging as what she has while maintaining their professional aspirations at the same time.

“I think one of the things that has meant the most to me is women's health, especially going through the journey that I have with my endometriosis and my rheumatoid arthritis, and continuing to share my story and be a friend for people out there struggling," said Collins in press during the 2022 Australian Open. 

"That's going to be at the top of the list. Helping the youngsters as much as possible, especially the kids where I was in their situation and wanting to do this and continuing to mentor a lot of the kids, I think that's going to be really important for me.”

Read also: Rafael Nadal Returns in Barcelona

Regardless of what the future has in store for Danielle Collins, she’s proving you can save your best tennis for your thirties and for your farewell party as well. She’s determined to compete and achieve at the highest level despite having several health hurdles in her path. 

Collins looks like she’s intent to be going out on the top of her game and on her own terms and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us between now and the end of the season when she hangs up her racquet.

The WTA's best return to Toronto this summer for the National Bank Open August 4 to 12, 2024 at Sobeys Stadium. 2024 Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!

Feature Photo : @WeAreTennis