Misc Tennis

Can Danielle Collins keep up her momentum at the French Open?

Can Danielle Collins keep up her momentum at the French Open?

DANIELLE COLLINS UNDERSTANDS why everyone is questioning her decision to retire at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old American is having her best year yet on tour. She won the biggest title of her career in Miami in March and immediately followed up with the crown in Charleston — becoming the first player to win the two tournaments back-to-back since Serena Williams in 2013. She had a 15-match win streak. Throughout the stretch, Collins has recorded victories over top-10 players Ons Jabeur, Maria Sakkari and Elena Rybakina, and has given reigning major champions Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka some of their toughest battles of the season.

Last week, Collins reached the semifinals in Rome before making it to the final in Strasbourg on Saturday. After being ranked outside of the top 70 in early February, she is up to No. 10 in the WTA rankings — just three spots removed from her career-high mark of No. 7. On Monday, she will open play at the French Open as one of the top contenders for perhaps the first time in her career at a major.

After every title, after every victory punctuated with her signature “Come on!” yell, Collins is inundated with questions about her decision and if she is reconsidering it.

She gets it.

She knows it comes from a good place and people simply “can’t wrap their heads around” why someone who is still relatively young and experiencing such success would choose to step away at what could be the prime of their career.

So, why does Collins want to end her career now?

“I want to go out really playing on a high level, and I want people to remember me for the tennis that I was playing,” Collins told ESPN earlier this month. “Some players are almost forced into retirement, due to an injury and then falling out of the top 100, and that defines the end of their career. This has been really empowering in the way that I’ve been able to make the decision to retire on my own terms and have the ability to choose. I could choose to continue to play but I’m choosing to retire.”

IT’S NOT THE first time Collins has defied expectations.

While many of her peers traveled around the world during their teenage years, participating in international junior tournaments and homeschooling to accommodate the schedule, Collins competed mostly locally in Florida and remained at a public high school.


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