Elena Rybakina survives Danielle Collins in Abu Dhabi

In a battle of two of the tour's biggest hitters, Elena Rybakina proved steadier in the tight moments.
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Elena Rybakina got her season back on track with an impressive comeback victory against Danielle Collins, defeating the American 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Rybakina opened her season with a dominant display in Adelaide, defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the final with the loss of just three games. However, Rybakina was not able to sustain that level for the rest of the Australian swing.

Ahead of her encounter with Collins, Rybakina's last match was a brutal loss in the second round of the Australian Open, where she lost the longest tiebreak in grand slam singles history in the final set. Danielle Collins, a former major finalist, is always a threat on a hard court. Collins wields unrelenting power from the baseline and a tenacious attitude. Both were on full display when she dispatched Naomi Osaka in the previous round.

Collins shocked the tennis world in Australia by announcing that this would be her last season on tour. Collins, only 30 years old, shared that she was ready for a new chapter in her life. However, she will play a full season and is still one of the most dangerous players on tour.

How Elena Rybakina escaped Danielle Collins

For the first set and a half, Rybakina found herself more often on defense against an on-song Collins. Collins has the ability to take the racket out of the hands of even the biggest hitters, and she certainly did that for the first half of the match. The critical moment of the match occurred in the sixth game of the second set, with Collins serving up a break at 3-2. Collins had several game points and saved multiple break point chances. However, Rybakina used controlled aggression to steal the game and run away with the set.

Rybakina opened the third set with a break, only to get broken immediately back. Rybakina again steadied herself and broke Collins a second time in the set. This time, Rybakina would not relinquish serve again. In the quarterfinals, Rybakina will face the winner of Heather Watson and Cristina Bucsa.

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