Is Danielle Collins' new hobby the key to a sizzling swan song?

As the soon-to-be-retiring American stormed to her first career WTA 1000 title at the Miami Open this week, in her last appearance at the tournament, Collins revealed that she's recently been honing her golf game to stay occupied on her days off. After beating Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals, for example, the 2022 Australian Open finalist dished to Prakash Amritraj on Tennis Channel that she was thrilled to play at 1 p.m., as it gave her ample time to celebrate her victory on the greens.

Florida native Collins' connections with golf, like with the tournament, run back to her childhood.

"As a kid, obviously like tennis and golf, a lot of places in Florida offer both. There is tennis courts and golf courses close to each other," she said. "I remember I was in a camp as a kid, and you played tennis in the morning and then you would have golf in the afternoon. I used to say, 'Dad, tell the tennis coaches I do not want to play golf, because I'm so bad and I want to focus on my tennis.' So my dad would get me out of the golf.

"Now I'm regretting that a little bit as an adult, because I'm having a harder time picking it up. But it's been a really great outlet to just, on my off days, have something to look forward to. ... It's been fun learning something new."


But fun and enjoyment might not be the only things that the American is taking away from the course.

"I feel like for me I'm someone that needs a lot of mental stimulation. By learning new things, I feel like it keeps my brain sharp, keeps me thinking about different things, keeps me from focusing on tennis too much," Collins said.

"I feel like the last few months I have taken more time to focus on those things, because they bring me so much enjoyment. It also makes the tennis more fun, because I'm so bad at golf that when I come out and play tennis, compared to my golf game, I'm a lot better at tennis. So it makes me feel a lot better too.

"So that could be helping my confidence and making me more relaxed. I don't know!"


Whatever the secret was, it worked for Collins in Miami: After losing her first set of the tournament to compatriot Bernarda Pera, she won her next 14, and only lost more than three games in one of those sets (against Elena Rybakina in the 75, 6-3 final.) The lowest-ranked winner in tournament history at No. 53, Collins will vault back to No. 22 in Monday's rankings, putting her in firm contention for a berth on the U.S. Olympic team, too.

But her next order of business is lowering her handicap.

"I'm right-handed, but I've tried left and I feel like I'm equally as bad on both sides," Collins joked. "I need some lessons. So if there's anyone out there watching that could give me tips on my swing, I'd be happy to hear it."