Danielle Collins diagnosed—but not defeated—by rheumatoid arthritis

Danielle Collins diagnosed—but not defeated—by rheumatoid arthritis

The second WTA player in a year to receive news of the condition, the Australian Open semifinalist is channeling her fighting spirit toward her latest challenge.

Danielle Collins, a semifinalist at this year’s Australian Open, announced Wednesday on Instagram that she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. While receiving news of having a chronic inflammatory condition causing pain, stiffness and swelling in joints was a difficult revelation, it also provided significant answers for the American.

“I have not been feeling all that great for quite some time, but it has been somewhat of a relief and completely validating to understand the cause behind my pain. I am certainly not the first person who has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, and I really feel for all of the people out there who are struggling,” Collins wrote.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There have been a lot of exciting moments during my 2019 season. I am proud to have made a career high ranking of 23 in the world and the semi finals of the Australian Open, earlier this season. There have also been tough moments, but I am grateful for another year of growth. Today is a tough day for me as I announce my recent diagnosis with Rheumatoid arthritis. I have not been feeling all that great for quite some time, but it has been somewhat of a relief and completely validating to understand the cause behind my pain. I am certainly not the first person who has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, and I really feel for all of the people out there who are struggling. As I have started treatment, I am looking forward to embracing this next challenge in life. Without a doubt, every healthy day is a gift and I am one hundred percent committed to keeping strong and continuing to battle on and off the tennis court. ???????????? #rheumatoidarthritis #autoimmunedisease #ivegotthis #adversity

A post shared by Danielle Collins (@danimalcollins) on

The two-time former NCAA singles champion is the second notable WTA player in a year to be diagnosed with the disorder, after Caroline Wozniacki revealed last October at the WTA Finals that she was battling the disease. Understandably in shock at the time, Wozniacki stated, “You feel like you're the fittest athlete out there, or that's in my head, that's what I'm known for, and all of a sudden you have this to work with.

“It is what it is, and you just have to be positive and work with it, and there are ways that you can feel better so that's great.”

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Collins reached a career-high No. 23 following her final four run in Melbourne, which included a 6-0, 6-2 rout over then-No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the round of 16. Ironically, Wozniacki edged Collins to win their second-round encounter in three sets at the US Open. Collins’ primary care physician, Dr. Clifton L Page, was clear in his statement that rheumatoid arthritis is not career-ending if combated correctly.

“Early diagnosis and modern RA treatments can manage symptoms, limit joint destruction and preserve the longevity of active individuals. Being educated on the disease and having a good management plan can help athletes playing at their maximum potential,” Page said.

The 25-year-old most recently played at the China Open last week, falling to Kristina Mladenovic in her Beijing opener. At the end of her Instagram post, Collins included the hashtag, '#ivegotthis'. With a positive outlook and innate tenacity, Collins is well-equipped to take on her latest challenge. 

"Without a doubt, every healthy day is a gift and I am one hundred percent committed to keeping strong and continuing to battle on and off the tennis court."