In the span of less than a year, Danielle Collins dramatically rose from outside the game's Top 100 to being a Top-25 player. In 2019, though, it came to light that she, like so many competitors, was fighting a difficult battle behind the scenes—in her case, with rheumatoid arthritis.

Personal matters can be difficult to talk about publicly, but the two-time NCAA singles champion recently opened up about her journey with the disorder for Noah Rubin's Behind The Racquet. In her post, she explains the process of getting her diagnosis, the struggle of finding an effective combination of treatments and how she finds the power mentally to carry on in a demanding career.


"As tennis players we all get caught up in what everyone else is doing," Collins said in her caption, "and now I am finding what works for me."

(That includes medications, a careful diet and seeing a psychologist.)

At the end of her post, Collins points out that people will often try to relate to her by saying they, for example, get joint pain while running.

"It isn't the same," she said.

In another new Behind The Racquet profile, Fabio Fognini discussed the emotional challenges he feels when he has to leave his family and friends to go on tour.


"I remember my first child being eight months old, and Flavia and I were in Miami again for pre season," Fognini said. "I was about to fly out to Australia and I began to cry like a baby. I just couldn’t imagine leaving them.⁣"

When all that's easily visible of a tennis player is their on-court life and maybe some carefully crafted social-media posts, it's easy to imagine their only adversary is the one on the other side of the net. Rubin has changed that a little bit with the advent of Behind The Racquet, which encourages players to show they're stronger than people might know.