Miami Masters 2024: Danielle Collins, party before farewell | Tennis | Sports

There is something strange about the career of Danielle Collins, a magnificent tennis player who relatively entered the circuit – at the age of 22 -, who until now had only achieved a couple of trophies – Palermo and San José, both in 2021 – and who this year , at only 30 years old, will hang up his racket at the end of the season. “I feel that I am prepared for the next chapter, I feel very happy,” says the American, happy after the astral alignment that has occurred: now that she is going to say goodbye, she does so with the Miami title under her arm, becoming the champion with the worst ranking (53rd) of the tournament and, if that were not enough, triumphing at home. “When I was little I used to beg my father to bring me here, and he would tell me: ‘You can go when you play in the tournament.’ And the man was not wrong.

The 7-5 and 6-3 obtained this Saturday against Elena Rybakina, the number four in the world, grants her a prize that she resisted, but that she undoubtedly deserved. She has gathered Collins merits more than enough. Finalist of the Australian Open in 2022, she managed to rise to seventh place in the world and has collected victories of merit against several figures. Dedicated and orthodox, discreet and committed, few current tennis players have her cut backhand and her intelligence in the construction of the point. This time she suffered the virtues of the tall Rybakina, who bowed on the fourth match point. In this way, the North American became the sixth representative of her country to be crowned in Florida after Martina Navratilova (1985), Chris Evert (1986), Venus (1998, 1999 and 2001) and Serena Williams (2002, 2003, 2004 , 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015), and Sloane Stephens (2018).

The first of them cheered him on from the stands, as did Andre Agassi. It was her first final of a WTA 1000 – the second tournaments on the scale, after the Grand Slams -, although the outcome could have been different if her rival had converted any of the five break options she had in the first set. . He missed the Kazakh, and she was right to close and avoid the tiebreaker in that heat. From there, Rybakina accused the over-exertion made throughout these two weeks—all duels until the final were resolved in three sets—and recognized the merit of the winner. Not since Kim Klijsters, the 38th when she claimed victory in the 2005 edition, has a player been decorated so low in the pecking order.

Forged in the university youth academy, an operation for endometriosis (uterus) forced her to stop for a season three years ago. However, the following campaign she was close to glory in Melbourne, but there she ran into number one, Ashleigh Barty. Fully satisfied, and even more so with the Miami bell, she considers that her tennis journey must end now, how and when she wants. “Sometimes it seems like I started playing yesterday, but other times it seems like an eternity ago,” she says. “Being a professional athlete consumes you day by day, so I will retire at the end of the year, that is not going to change. I have been living with an illness that affects my personal sphere for several years, so this goes beyond tennis,” Collins resolves.

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