2024 Expectations for the WTA NCAA Champions, Danielle Collins and Peyton Stearns

Danielle Collins and Peyton Stearns look ahead to promising 2024 seasons
Joe Scarnici/GettyImages

John Isner and Ben Shelton are among the NCAA champions who had successful college playing careers before joining the ATP Tour. The women have their own NCAA champions on the WTA Tour, namely Danielle Collins and Peyton Stearns.

Collins is 30 years old and a former Australian Open semifinalist in 2019 and finalist in 2022. She was the top-ranked college player in 2016, graduating from the University of Virginia that same year and immediately joining the WTA Tour. Since 2020, Collins has been pursuing a master's degree in sports management from the University of Florida. She has two WTA title wins in her career.

Stearns is 22 years old and played two seasons at the University of Texas Austin, earning her national championship in 2022 before turning pro in June 2022. Stearns credits Collins with opening the door for American women to consider the college path before turning pro.

Expectations for Danielle Collins and Peyton Stearns

Collins's best success has been in Australia so if she is going to win a Grand Slam, it is most likely it will be in Melbourne. At the 2022 Australian Open, she defeated Iga Swiatek in the semifinals before falling to Australian Ash Barty who made an epic comeback from 1-5 down in the second set to earn her final Grand Slam title. Like Caroline Wozniacki, she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis so the rigors of the tour can be taxing. This is another reason why a healthy and rested Collins is a bigger threat earlier in the season. Collins is ranked 52nd for the 2024 Australian Open.

Peyton Stearns
2023 US Open - Day 8 / Robert Prange/GettyImages

Stearns reached the fourth round in the 2023 US Open where she was ousted by 2023 Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova. 2024 will be her first Australian Open, and she arrives in Melbourne ranked 49th. The conditions suit her game so it will be interesting to watch how she performs. She has yet to win a WTA title but has earned five ITF titles. 2024 could be the year that Stearns wins her first WTA title.

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