Danielle Collins qualifies for her first grand slam final

Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, FL is in her first grand slam singles final. On Thursday, Collins defeated Iga Swiatek of Poland, the 2020 French Open champion, , 6-4, 6-1, rather easily in straight sets.

Collins has had great success at the Australian Open, which has become the best of her four majors. In 2019, Collins reached the final four of the Australian Open, before losing to two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 7-6, 6-0. In 16 matches at the Australian Open, Collins has won 13 contests for a marvelous winning percentage of .813. In the other three grand slam titles, she has a winning percentage of 64% at the French Open, 50% of Wimbledon and 33% at the U.S. Open. It is interesting that the U.S. Open has been by far Collins’s worst major. Reasons could be attributed to the pressure of playing at home, and all of the off-court distractions that come with a grand slam tournament for players when they compete in their native land.

In the final, Collins will play the heavily favoured Ashleigh Barty of Australia. Collins is the 27th seed, while Barty is the world number one. On Friday, Barty had no problems knocking out
American Madison Keys, who seemed to lack a game plan against her opponent. The major difference in this encounter seemed to be first serve points, as Barty won 86%, while Keys only won 49%.

Barty is looking for her third grand slam championship. She previously won the 2019 French Open title over Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-3, and the 2021 Wimbledon title over Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Barty has won three of four prior meetings versus Collins.

The men’s final will be Daniil Medvedev of Russia against Rafael Nadal of Spain. With a win, Nadal would win a record 21st career men’s grand slam singles title. In the semifinals, Medvedev beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Nadal meanwhile beat Matteo Berrettini of Italy, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.