Three weeks ago, Danielle Collins was staring down the very real possibility of a first-round defeat to Taylor Townsend in Indian Wells. She turned that match around and then kicked her 2018 season into high gear, reaching the fourth round in the desert before racing into the Miami Open semifinals.
"I have put in the hard work my whole life, so at the end of the day, I know I have done literally everything I can do to put myself in the best situation," the world No. 93 said. "And if I win the match, I win the match and it's awesome. If I lose the match, I lose the match knowing that I did everything in my power to put myself in the best situation."
Her hot streak can be traced back a little farther. The 24-year-old was a wildcard entry into the BNP Paribas Open thanks to her WTA 125K title in Newport, Calif. at the end of January.
"Before Newport I had never won more than a round at a 125K. I just kept going," Collins told Baseline in Indian Wells. "Everyday we're working on different things and trying to apply them to my game. I know the task at hand. I'm on a roll right now and I'm playing really good tennis."
It's quite possible that she and everyone she has played didn't quite realize how good her tennis would get. In Miami, she had to grind through qualifying, and has since upset the likes of CoCo Vandeweghe, Monica Puig and her idol Venus Williams.