Is Danielle Collins about to run it back in Charleston with another trophy on home soil in her farewell season?

The Miami Open champion is two wins away from pulling off the impressive feat after making the rapid adjustment from hard courts to green clay.

A day after pulling double duty at the WTA 500 event, where Collins ousted defending title holder Ons Jabeur and Sloane Stephens, Collins eliminated Elise Mertens. The American advanced past the No. 11 seed, 6-3, 6-4, to secure her 11th consecutive win.

“I’m definitely in the zone. I think a lot of it has to do with the focus and concentration. Getting so many matches in the beginning of the year was really great for me,” Collins told Steve Weissman at the Tennis Channel desk.

“I feel like I’ve done so much training over the course of my life. There’s been seasons where I haven’t gotten to play as many matches, partly because of injuries and the stuff that I live with has held me back at times. So it’s really nice that right now I’m finding my best form and being able to play all of these matches week in and week out and not feel tired. I’m really proud of myself because it’s taken a lot of trial and error and hard work away from the courts.”

Collins is now 20-7 this season.

Collins is now 20-7 this season. 


After dropping a lengthy opening 14-point game, Collins broke right back at love and quickly asserted her baseline presence against Mertens. The world No. 26 wouldn’t lose serve again until the quarterfinal was on her racquet at 5-2 in the second set.

Having the comfort of a double-break advantage to work with, Collins successfully shut the door on her second attempt with an ace down the T.

“The thing about Elise, she’s capable of beating any top player on any given day, the way that she hits her shots and comes out here and battles. She makes it really difficult for a lot of people,” said Collins.

“Going into it, I knew I had to be really swinging today. I had to go for it. It’s tough in the windy conditions, weather’s kind of changing a little bit. So you have to be aware of that and sometimes bring the targets in.”


With the victory, Collins is projected to make her Top 20 return Monday—a rise that will see her leapfrog Madison Keys and Emma Navarro as the No. 3-ranked American heading into the European clay-court season. It’s a notable shakeup, as three weeks ago Collins was well out of contention to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris when she stood at No. 53.

“I feel like there’s so many players at times that drop outside the Top 50 and their level is not really a reflection of where they are with the rankings. I try to tell myself that and keep a positive perspective. Of course, it’s hard,” Collins said.

“I feel like with the way I strike the ball and play, I’m a high achiever, so I always want be trying to aim for doing better and better. It’s been a process. I’ve had some tough draws and tough matches. I’ve just had to work through that and learn how to face those opponents early the tournaments—and battle.

Collins has won 22 of the last 24 sets she’s contested en route to reaching the 20-win mark on the season. The 30-year-old awaits No. 3 seed Maria Sakkari. The Greek defeated 2021 champion Veronika Kudermetova, the No. 9 seed, 6-2, 6-4, to collect her 10th win in 12 matches since joining forces with coach David Witt.

Top seed Jessica Pegula, who saved four match points against Victoria Azarenka to prevail in a final-set tiebreaker, faces Daria Kasatkina for a final berth after the 2017 titlist rallied past Jaqueline Cristian in three sets.