"My physical fitness is one of the things that has improved a lot."
That was evident during Danielle Collins’ 6-3, 6-4 victory over defending champion and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the second round of the Adelaide International on Wednesday.
“That gives me more confidence when I go into long points and I'm being a little bit more patient within the rallies,” said Collins following her win.
Collins will now face French Open champion Iga Swiatek, who dropped just four games against Aussie Maddison Inglis in cruising through to the quarterfinals. At just 19 years old, Swiatek has evolved into one of the most dangerous players on the WTA Tour.
"I watched so many of her matches at Roland Garros and she was somebody that I really enjoyed watching. I think she's a great competitor," added Collins.
Swiatek will be looking to create opportunities by redirecting shots like this.
Collins, on the other hand, will need to keep her first-serve percentage high to generate free points.
This will be the first meeting between two very capable hard-court players. On paper, the fifth-seeded Swiatek is the favorite with her ranking nearly 20 spots above the American's. But confidence-wise, the unseeded Collins may have a slight edge.
In the last three weeks, she’s taken out third-seeded Karolina Pliskova—and pushed Serena Williams to a match tie-break—at the Yarra Valley Classic, before scoring her first victory over Barty in four tries. This clash could go either way, but we'll call on Collins to add another impressive win to her resume.
The Pick: Danielle Collins