Italian Open 2022: Danielle Collins storms past former World No.1 Simona Halep

Danielle Collins is making her maiden trip to the Round of 16 in Rome following two prior second-round defeats.

Danielle Collins enter 2022 Australian Open semifinals; Credit: Twitter/@WTA

On Thursday, seventh seed Danielle Collins of the United States defeated former World No.1 Simona Halep of Romania 7-6(1), 6-3 in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Collins extended her record against Halep to 2-1 after little over two hours of play. She is making her maiden trip to the round of 16 in Rome following two prior second-round defeats. Collins will now contest her first meeting with compatriot Amanda Anisimova in the Round of 16.

‘Simona is someone that I’ve looked up to’ 

Collins expressed after her win that Simona is someone that she has looked up to for a long time and really admires her as an athlete. Collins further explained that she had to come out and play really aggressive and be consistent at the same time, because Simona is relentless. “Simona is someone that I’ve looked up to for a long time, somebody that I really admire as a competitor, as an athlete,” Collins said after her win. “I felt like today kind of worked in my favor because I know her game so well from watching a lot.”

“I had to come out and play really aggressive and be consistent at the same time, because she’s relentless, she gets everything back. I just had to be really patient. There were times I was a little up and down with my serving, so I kind of made some adjustments, and just tried to be not too hard on myself.” the american added. 

Highlights 

Collins’ crashing returns clashed with Halep’s footspeed and clay-court artistry, and the pair were locked in a deadlock for the whole of the opening set, swapping breaks three times. However, when Collins broke Halep for 6-6, the American gained control of the tiebreak by playing aggressively. Collins won the tie-break’s final four points to take a one-set lead. Halep fell behind 4-0 in the second set after dropping the 81-minute opening set. Collins was unable to serve out the match at 5-2, but she struck more tremendous returns to earn double match point at 5-3 on Halep’s serve. Collins capitalized on her first opportunity with a forehand winner down the line. 

Read more: Barcelona Open 2022: Schedule, Fixtures, Participants, Live Streaming Details

Outplaying the former Champion 

Halep has reached the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia three times, finishing as runner-up to Elina Svitolina in 2017 and 2018, before winning the championship in 2020. Collins made daring returns on a frequent basis and was rewarded with six service breaks out of nine breakpoints. When returning Halep’s second serve, the American won 60% of the points.

Collins will now face compatriot Amanda Anisimova in the Round of 16 for the first time. Anisimova defeated No.12 seed Belinda Bencic earlier in the day on Wednesday. Collins said that Anisimova is a really aggressive player and It will be interesting playing each other for the first time. “[Anisimova] is a really aggressive player, I feel like we have some similarities in our games,” Collins said. “It will be interesting playing each other for the first time.”




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Sportslumo Desk

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