Danielle Collins out to put Petra Kvitova in the doghouse during their Australian Open semi-final clash
- Danielle Collins had never won a grand slam match before the Australian Open
- The 25-year-old American is now into the semi-finals after 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory
- Collins recovered from a set down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Tuesday
- Her scalps have included Julia Goerges, Caroline Garcia and Angelique Kerber
- She’ll now face Petra Kvitova – who beat home favourite Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-4
Nobody need tell Petra Kvitova or Danielle Collins that they should keep their Australian Open semi-final clash in perspective.
The Czech, 28, is two years on from being the victim of a knife attack in her own apartment that badly damaged her playing hand and threatened her whole career. Collins, the little-known American college graduate who she now faces, has seen a little more of life than your average tennis player. She is also a lover of dogs and owns a German Shepherd, a Boxer Jack Russell and a Boxer Pug.
Kvitova came through after halting Australia’s Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-4, and became tearful on court when asked what making her first Grand Slam semi-final since the attack meant to her. Later, the twice Wimbledon champion elaborated by saying: ‘I’m calling it as my second career. I always wanted to come back and compete with the best, play the Grand Slams, actually be very deep in the tournament, which is happening. It was happy tears for sure.’
Petra Kvitova produced a ruthless display to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open
The Czech is in fine form as she took apart local favourite Ashleigh Barty in straight sets
It is the first time she has got this far in a major since winning at SW19 in 2014. Meanwhile, her semi-final opponent was playing in an obscure tournament near Los Angeles this time last year – a world away from the closing stages of the Australian Open.
Now Collins, 25, is in the last four after a startling rise, made all the more remarkable by the fact that 10 days ago she had never won a match in a major.
In what was her first match on Rod Laver Arena, she fought back to defeat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the quarter-finals. It added to her destruction of Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the previous round. There are not many players around with Collins’ c.v., which includes having a media studies degree from the University of Virginia, where she wrote a screenplay about deaf American footballer Derrick Coleman of the Arizona Cardinals.
American Danielle Collins celebrates after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals
Collins appears stunned after seeing off Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets on Tuesday
The pair shake hands at Melbourne Park after Collins fought back in style from a set down
‘I think going to college helped me develop as a person,’ said Collins (left), who has her own jewellery line. ‘Not being a child prodigy, not being a superstar at a young age certainly humbled me, made me in a way work harder for things.
‘I’m able to relax a little bit more than some people because they’ve just done tennis their whole life and haven’t ventured out much.’
Overnight the second group of quarter-finals were due to be played, with Naomi Osaka taking on Elina Svitolina and Serena Williams facing No 7 seed Karolina Pliskova.
A self-confessed dog lover, Collins has seen her stock rise since the early days in Florida
The American has a German Shepherd, a Boxer Jack Russell and a Boxer Pug back at her home