Danielle Collins believes she is the world’s greatest tennis player. Who are we to tell her she’s not? She beat Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open, 6-0, 6-2—the worst defeat in the German's Grand Slam career. Part of the reason for that is that Collins brings more fire to the court than any tennis player in recent memory.
When I spoke with Danielle at IMG academy in the offseason, I mentioned that I played at Duke, an ACC rival school for all sports, especially tennis.
She said to me, “good thing I didn’t know you or else I would have kicked your ass.”
She is absolutely right, she would have kicked my ass. And she told me on Friday, the eve of the United States' Fed Cup tie against Australia, that she “can’t wait to crash the Barty Party.”
Collins is slated to play the deciding doubles match with Nicole Melichar against Ashleigh Barty and Daria Gavrilova, but could be substituted in for singles duty at any time. It would be wise for U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi to consider it, given Collins' experience in team competition. The two-time NCAA champion—and recent Australian Open semifinalist—is on a roll, though with Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin, the U.S. team has a wealth of options in its home tie.
I, for one, cannot wait to see what kind of energy Danielle brings to the table while playing for her country.
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