LONDON—“Grand Slam finalist and foodie” might be an apt definition of Danielle Collins in Merriam-Webster.

After filming a “Cooking with Collins” segment at January’s Adelaide International, the resolute Floridian recently paid for the New York Times’ food app. So, asked for a starter, main and dessert she would offer up to impress guests, Collins opted for a mushroom risotto, steak or watermelon, feta and mint salad—depending on dietary requirements—and lemon or lemon raspberry tart. Collins largely consumes plant-based foods but still eats a little meat.

“I made some really good carrot cake muffins a couple of weeks ago, and I normally don’t like carrot cake,” Collins told a small group of reporters after completing a 6-4, 6-4 win over Austria’s Julia Grabher at Wimbledon on Wednesday. “They were gluten free and dairy free, and they were so good.”

Her coach, Jared Jacobs joked, “Carrot cake is my favorite vegetable.”


Collins and the rest of the competitors at SW19 had more time to peruse apps than they wanted on Tuesday, when rain washed out all but a mere eight matches. The 29-year-old also played cards, chatted logistics with doubles partner Alison Riske-Amritraj about a possible trip in late July to New Orleans to attend a Shania Twain concert, and caught up with another of her friends, Madison Brengle.

Brengle happens to be a terrific baker, according to Collins.

I wanted to try to prevent that and really make sure I was comfortable on the grass, practicing, before I went out and compete. Danielle Collins, weighing the costs of potential injury versus potential ranking gains


Collins hasn’t been on tour much lately so was grateful to recquaint with mates. Wimbledon marks only her third event since Miami in March, and the victory over the rising Grabher ended a three-match skid. Given her health issues—which have included undergoing endometriosis surgery, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and battling a neck injury—one wondered if an illness or injury resurfaced.

Not really, even if Collins sported thick strapping to her upper left leg on Court 17.

“Looks a little dramatic but nothing crazy,” she said.

While a chronic knee injury does extend the transition time switching from clay to grass, Collins reiterated that taking breaks for her health and well-being remain a top priority, even at the expense of her ranking. The current No. 52—down from seventh almost exactly a year ago—ultimately decided to skip last week’s Eastbourne International.

“I feel like sometimes when you go from clay to grass and jump into a tournament without really having adequate time to train, you put yourself at risk of having an injury again,” she said. “I wanted to try to prevent that and really make sure I was comfortable on the grass, practicing, before I went out and compete. I feel like with how I am playing and striking the ball, it definitely was a good decision.”

Collins' grass-court preparation consisted of only practice sessions.

Collins' grass-court preparation consisted of only practice sessions.


Her Wimbledon preparation is certainly nothing new. The last time Collins played a tune-up was four years ago. She is bidding for a first grass-court quarterfinal at any pro level, with Wimbledon the lone major where the 2022 Australian Open finalist on hard courts hasn’t made the second week.

“I’ve had some good runs in the doubles, interestingly enough,” laughed Collins, a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2022 alongside Desirae Krawczyk and quarterfinalist three years earlier with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. “But I like the grass. I think it suits my game well.”

Her affection for Wimbledon is similarly high, despite the dearth of wins.

“I think being at Wimbledon is so cool. The history and the gardens and all of it,” she said. “I remember watching Wimbledon as a kid, and to get to be here, everybody, whether you are a player, spectator, working the tournament, it is just like the coolest thing. I feel like I’m more kind of like, ‘Wow!’”

"I like the grass," says Collins. "I think it suits my game well." She'll face Belinda Bencic in the second round.

"I like the grass," says Collins. "I think it suits my game well." She'll face Belinda Bencic in the second round.


Collins led 6-4 on Monday night when her match was halted due to darkness. The wet Tuesday meant a Wednesday resumption. She saved all five break points she faced against the 58th-ranked Grabher, who is playing Grand Slams this season for the first time.

Returning from a final rain delay at 4-3, 30-15 in the second set, Collins needed barely under nine minutes to finally, officially advance.

Her next foe is Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. The Swiss has used the word “love” to describe her fondness of grass and it is little wonder, making five finals. But Collins beat Bencic 6-3, 6-1 on the habitually quicker hard courts of Adelaide in 2020 in their lone head to head, not facing a break point.

“I’ve watched Belinda play a lot over the years, and she’s a great competitor, always give it her best,” said Collins. “So I’m definitely up for a challenge.”

That we know.

Thursday’s forecast thankfully calls for mostly sunny skies and very little chance of rain. Less time on the apps, which Collins and her peers likely won’t mind.