Danielle Collins might not have won Italian Open but this is why she was the star

Collins reached the semifinals of the Italian Open.
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Danielle Collins is having the kind of final season that Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and, possibly, Novak Djokovic wish they could have. Collins is not only playing extremely well, but in many ways, she has reached a level she never has before. Her ranking might not yet be at a career-high, but she has won two events in 2024 and that equals her career number prior to this year.

She also is making deep runs at other tournaments. She reached the semifinals of the Italian Open before falling in straight sets to WTA No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka. Collins might only sit at No. 12 when the new rankings come out, but she has won 19 of her last 21 matches and she is not only a top-ten player in pure form but a top-five player. One can only wonder what kind of run she will make at the French Open.

But while she is not winning every tournament, she is certainly leaving a trail of memories wherever she plays. The Italian Open was no different. Collins was refreshingly honest on and off the court and she showed her personality that few players do. Want to know what Collins is thinking? Just watch her. She is not hiding anything.

Danielle Collins saves her best for last

Maybe part of the reason for her 2024 success is that she knows she is retiring. She won't have to worry about what points to defend next year. She is simply focused on the next tournament before she reaches the end. Let's hope that end comes at the WTA Finals.

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She did leave tennis fans in Rome with some great moments, though. Perhaps the best was when she was playing Anna Blinkova in the round of 64. Blinkova suffered an injury and had to retire, but after sitting on her bench after getting hurt, Collins brought her a towel and some water. The moment was sportsmanship at its finest.

Another moment was much more amusing. Against Victoria Azarenka early in the second set, Collins went to hit the ball and shanked it. Someone or some persons in the crowd whistled while waiting for the ball to land, but Collins just smiled and waved her arms as if to say, "Yep, that was bad."

Lastly, after Collins defeated Azarenka to reach the semis she blew a kiss to the crowd. But the kiss seemed ridiculously genuine.

Danielle Collins might not have consistently maintained a high level of success during her career, but she did literally save her best for last. She will be missed. But maybe she still has a Grand Slam run in her before she is completely done.

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