Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins are both 25, both from Florida and both bright lights in American tennis.
But while Stephens has one Grand Slam title and earned £10.4million so far in her career, Collins is yet to break £1m as her stock continues to rise.
The big-hitting blonde was ranked 167 in the world when Stephens toasted the US Open title in 2017 and went into 2019 without a single Grand Slam win to her name.
Danielle Collins (right) is the unexpected star of American tennis as she eyes a first Slam title
Amassing 37,000 followers on Instagram, Collins loves holidays and exploring European cities
The 25-year-old keeps busy off the court and has launched her very own jewellery range
She had not won a Grand Slam match before 2019 but is now eyeing the Australian Open title
A businesswoman off the court with a keen interest in holidays and her dogs – it says something she has included ‘animal’ into her social handle on Instagram.
Collins has risen from relative obscurity to breathing down the necks of fellow Americans Serena Williams and Madison Keys.
Now the fourth-highest ranked women’s player in America, and boasting an Intsagram following of 37,000, Collins has her eyes on toppling the game’s elite.
Born in Florida, Collins was a keen sportswoman but found tennis to be more enjoyable than gymnastics, football or swimming.
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
Having been taking in the culture while out in Melbourne, she was keen to visit the wildlife
Tennis is a notoriously difficult sport to crack at the elite level with private lessons more often than not accepted as part of the process. But for Collins, local courts with older players in the community would have to do.
Speaking to the WTA last March, she said: ‘I would hit against the wall as my mom jogged around.
‘One day this group of older people who were around 80, were like oh, you’re pretty good. Would you like to play some doubles with us? I was eight years old.’
High school came and Collins soon emerged as the No 1 player in the country under the age of 18 but finances were tight at home and international tournaments were never a viable option.
Collins’ hard work off the court has seen her rise through the rankings and into the top 35
Should she go on and win the Australian Open and claim a maiden slam, she will rise to No 15
What was a viable option was college and with a £250,000 scholarship for the University of Virginia on the table, even taking a set off the future world No 1 Simona Halep at the 2014 US Open did not divert attention from taking the education route.
Leaving college as the top-ranked player in 2016, everything appeared to be aligning for a player who has had to be patient to show her skill-set on the biggest stage.
Beating Keys at Indian Wells in March and Venus Williams at the Miami Open soon after, Collins has surged up the WTA rankings and knows winning a maiden Grand Slam could see her rise as high as world No 15.
She got her first main draw acceptance at the French Open last May and also played at Wimbledon but suffered first round exits in both. With a run in a slam lucrative, and Collins limited to smaller and less financially rewarding tournaments, a keen interest off the court was vital.
A Virginia graduate, Collins’ route to being a star on the WTA Tour has taken longer than peers
Still in the infancy of her career, she faces the prospect of playing a final with Serena Williams
Collins’ interests span beyond just forehand winners as she has also launched her own jewellery line – Danielle Collins Jewelry – which is to be launched in the next few months.
But before then it is the small matter of an Australian Open semi-final having beaten Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three thrilling sets.
She will go up against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova after she produced a ruthless win over local hero Ashleigh Barty.
Having demolished three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in just 56 minutes earlier in the tournament, don’t bet against this jewellery-selling Virginia graduate going all the way to glory.
She left college as the highest ranked collegiate player but is now rising to the top of the game
She takes on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova for a place in the Melbourne final