The 25-year-old Florida-born, Danielle Collins made it to her first ever Grand Slam final this year at the Australian Open. She must have lost to Petra Kvitova, but nevertheless, she reached the summit of her career with a world ranking of number 23 and presently Danielle Collins is dwelling on that spot.
In 2018, during the qualifier events of the Miami Open, she steamrolled over her idol, Venus Williams and eventually became the first qualifier ever to breeze into the last four round at the Florida tournament. Recently, she addressed a few instances from her life to WTA Insider on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Danielle Collins was introduced to tennis by her father and her zeal for the sport evolved from a very young age. She came across her fellow classmate who possessed tennis trophies and since then Danielle Collins vigorously worked to achieve them. “I enjoyed competing and problem-solving and even today, that’s what I love about tennis,” she said. “I learned to think on my own and find a way to win, no matter if my opponent was bigger, stronger, or faster”
The American, Danielle Collins fought against the odds to train in tennis. She mostly self-trained herself as she couldn’t afford to go to tennis academies or take private lessons. Most of the times, she landed up spending time with older people on the public courts. “I had to be resourceful and that just made me tougher athlete and competitor. Looking back on it all, I wouldn’t change a thing,” she added.
Presently, she feels privileged to be part of the sport. “For me to be in a sport where there are such powerful women, like Billie Jean King and people that are women specifically, that are brave enough to transcend what used to be the social norms, I’m very honoured,” Danielle Collins mentioned. Also, she feels that sexism prevails in the sport of tennis and there are certain areas where women are less respected.
Despite the male chauvinistic world outside, the American, Danielle Collins expresses her gratitude towards her parents to shape her into one of the strongest women in WTA. “I give a lot of credit to my parents, my dad specifically, for never making boys seem like they were more important than me. I have a lot of strong females in my family and we don’t take any of that nonsense from men or boys. If a boy made fun of me at school or said something, my dad would say you are in charge, don’t let them talk to you like that. And I don’t,” Danielle Collins said.
“I still think there are still areas where men are a little bit more respected. I still hear people say sexist comments. I’ve heard fans tell me ‘I love to watch the man but I don’t really get around to watching the women.’ It’s sexist. It’s totally disrespecting females as a whole because you’re basically belittling us and saying that it’s not worth my time to watch you, and not appreciating the incredible talent everyone on the WTA Tour has,” Danielle Collins added.
“I’m incredibly lucky that I don’t have to look far for inspiration now. I really believe that the people that work for the WTA, the leaders that we have in Billie Jean King and The Williams Sisters, empower women every day to stand up for ourselves, believe in our dreams, and never back down,” Danielle Collins concluded.