Danielle Collins is not your average pro, and her path to the WTA Top 25 was not a typical journey. Tennis is better for it.
Long considered fearless on the court, Collins stormed to a pair of NCAA singles titles during her All-American tenure at the University of Virginia. In her sophomore season, she captured her first championship while unseeded—and with a seriously injured wrist. But instead of turning pro, like many other NCAA champions, Collins stayed for her senior year, had surgery, and became the seventh woman to win two NCAA singles titles.
That determination has served her just as well in the game's big leagues.
Born and raised in Florida, Collins comes to work with an edge that's less about intimidating her opponents, and more about being true to herself. She is not afraid to speak her mind or wear her heart on her sleeve. Her “C’mon” can be heard around the tennis world.
“You can always expect me to be fiery, and bring the competition on court,” Collins says, which may also be the understatement of the century.
Perhaps nobody but Collins herself expected such a meteoric rise to the game's upper echelon. But even though she's scaled enormous heights, she hasn't forgotten how she got here, or what matters most.
“I like to practice at a regular public park because I like how laid back everything is," she said.
That tells you most everything you need to know about the 27-year-old, who is currently recovering from surgery for endometriosis, and has bravely battled Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition that has ended many tennis players' careers.
No matter what happens in the future, you can bet that Collins will maximize her ability, and continue to be herself, no matter the situation.