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Danielle Collins Wins Miami Open Crown, Makes History

World No. 53 Danielle Collins made history as the lowest-ranked woman to win the Miami Open. Photo credit: Miami Open/Hard Rock Stadium

Amping up the volume of her drives and grunts, Danielle Collins channeled swang song into career crescendo.

Unleashing booming backhands, defiant drives and a fierce appetite for the fight, Collins conquered Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-3 in rousing performance to capture the Miami Open championship.

The 53rd-ranked Collins denied 10 of 11 break points becoming the lowest-ranked Miami Open champion in history and first American woman to win Miami since fellow Floridian Sloane Stephens in 2018.

“That was a battle. This whole week has been tough,” Collins told Miami fans. “I’ve played against some of the toughest competitors, some of the best players in the world.

“To be out here and share the court with Elena in the finals, you’ve had an incredible tournament, an incredible two years and so well deserved. I’m always rooting you on and hopefully we’ll play many more finals.” 

Battling through an 11-minute final game, Collins refused to lose. Stepping into the court Collins slammed her signature shot, the backhand crosscourt, to convert her her fourth championship point tossing her Tecnifibre racquet aside and burying her face in her hands in joy.

Playing perhaps her final pro match in her home state, Collins transformed Hard Rock Stadium into Danimal House.

“To the fans, I’ve played a few finals, but nothing like this,” Collins told the crowd. “To play in my home state in a tournament I used to watch on TV in a kid….

“To come out here and feel like I’m playing in front of thousands of my best friends and everyone that was pushing me to get over this hurdle today it just meant the world.

“I was getting very emotional and I had to keep telling myself to leave those emotions in the locker room and wait until after the match. It was just an incredible environment. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Thank you everyone.”

The 30-year-old Collins’ drive has fueled her tennis career since her father and first coach, Walter Collins, introduced her to the sport on the public park courts near her Florida home.

That intense determination has carried Collins to a couple of NCAA championships, the 2022 Australian Open final and the 2020 Roland Garros quarterfinals solidifying he status as a fierce fighter on tour as she competes while battling rheumatoid arthritis that has left her body aching at times.

Through it all, Collins brings grit, intensity and determination to each match and did it again before a packed and supportive crowd that included Hall of Famers Andre Agassi and Martina Navratilova.

It is Collins’ third career title, her first WTA 1000 and came against a former Wimbledon champion who fought her until the final ball.

“Second year into the final I think it’s a great result some consistency,” Rybakina said. “It was a great two weeks, a lot of tough matches, great battles, thank you so much to the fans for all the support through these two weeks.

“You give energy to keep us fighting through all these tough matches. Of course, I want to congratulate Danielle for a great two weeks, great matches. You played here, great tennis, for sure.”