USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

From 128, we are down to two, with both players seeking the number 3 in Miami! No.4 seed Elena Rybakina will look to secure her third WTA Title for the season and banish memories of her straight sets defeat in the 2023 Miami Final (l.to Petra Kvitova 7-6, 6-2). Meanwhile, the unseeded Danielle Collins will look to ride a wave of home support as she bids to win just her third WTA singles title; the first in her home state’s WTA 1000 in her final Miami appearance. 

The St. Petersburg, Florida-born tennis player will look to maintain her impeccable numbers for one more match, go all guns blazing, and register a fairytale victory. It is easier said than done as the 24-year-old Elena Rybakina will be the American’s first Top 10 opponent in ‘The Sunshine State’. If the 2022 Wimbledon champion can overcome the pain barrier, she will present a stern test to the 30-year-old. At least, based on her route to the final, the head-to-head, and the ranking. 

Elena Rybakina vs Danielle Collins: Miami Open (Final) Preview


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After missing the Indian Wells tournament, Elena Rybakina has put together a five-match win streak in Miami. She has beaten Clara Tauson (3-6, 7-5, 6-4), Taylor Townsend (6-3, 6-7 {3-7}, 6-4), Madison Keys (6-3, 7-5), Maria Sakkari (7-5, 6-7 {4-7}, 6-4) and Victoria Azarenka (6-4, 0-6, 7-6 {7-2}). These 14 sets have seen her spend 11 hours and 36 minutes on the court, which is 213 minutes more than her opponent. 

Elena Rybakina has landed 48 aces, but this has not resulted in her running through her matches. The Kazakh’s 34% break point conversion rate (19/55) and 57% break points saved (20/35) have increased her on court time at the 2024 Miami Open. She has had some dips in her game with four instances standing out:-

  • Missing two match points on Sakkari’s serve at 4-5 15-40 and losing the second set in the tie-break.
  • Squandering two more match points in the penultimate game of the final set on Sakkari’s serve. 
  • Securing only 5 points in set 2 of the semifinal and losing 16 consecutive points (from 0-1 30-30 to 0-5 0-30), from which 8 were on her serve. 
  • Failure to hold while serving for the match against Azarenka at 5-4 in the decider. 

via Reuters

While the Kazakh player has managed to win, it is because she has received chances at do-overs. This may not be the case on Saturday, as Danielle Collins has been rather clinical and remained fresh. 

The 30-year-old has already played an extra match, having started her campaign in the first round. She needed three sets to get past Bernarda Pera (6-3, 1-6, 1-6) in round 1, but has put together 5 straight sets victories en route to the title clash. 

  • Round 2 vs Anastasia Potapova: 6-2, 6-2
  • Round 3 vs Elina Avanesyan: 6-1, 6-2 
  • Round of 16 vs Sorana Cirstea: 6-3, 6-2
  • Quarterfinal vs Caroline Garcia: 6-3, 6-2
  • Semifinal vs Ekaterina Alexandrova: 6-3, 6-2

It is important to note that other results kept the top 10 players away from Danielle Collins in the tournament. The lack of a top 10 win in Miami may not bother the American as she will be confident after her semifinal victory over the player who eliminated Iga Swiatek and Jessica Pegula. 

USA Today via Reuters

A close glance at the 12 consecutive sets won shows that Danielle Collins has had quite a dominant run at Miami. She has secured 26/59 breaks of serve (41.66%) while conceding just 5/25 break points. This latter statistic, however, could be under threat against the WTA’s ace leader for 2024. 

Elena Rybakina vs Danielle Collins: Head-to-Head

Elena Rybakina and Danielle Collins have faced each other 4 times, with all matches coming on outdoor hard courts. The Kazakh player has a 3-1 lead over the American and will look to make it four wins in a row. 

  • Abu Dhabi 2024 R16: Rybakina won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
  • Australian Open 2023 Third Round: Rybakina won 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
  • Adelaide 2023 Round of 32: Rybakina won 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
  • San Jose 2021 Quarter Finals: Collins won 7-6{7-5}, 7-6 {7-4}

The two players have had very tight contests, with Elena Rybakina having the upper hand. Barring the 4-6 opening set at Abu Dhabi, every other set the American has won has required her to clinch a seventh game; the Kazakh has won her six sets in quite dominant fashion. That would position the 24-year-old as the favorite, but all the previous matches have come at earlier rounds. 

Danielle Collins has a better record when they’ve played deep in tournaments. Also, she leads 1-0 in their meeting on American soil. 

Prediction: Danielle Collins to win in three sets in Miami

Elena Rybakina has made up for the misses by creating more chances to break back (she has also secured a few breaks or a set lead to give herself a cushion). The 24-year-old can also put behind certain setbacks and play lights out when her back is against the wall as seen with her love hold at 5-6 in the decider against Azarenka (this, after she failed to close out the match in her previous service game). Moreover, her ability to win when not playing her best is a good sign that she can dig deep when the going gets tough.


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Based on the duo’s head-to-head numbers, the going gets tough quite often and Elena Rybakina has been battle-hardened this week; Danielle Collins has not encountered that yet, apart from her opening match where she lost the first set and faced 12 break points (saving 10 of them).

Despite all this, Danielle Collins should be the favorite as her freshness, combined with her opponent’s words from just days ago, can paint a picture of what may happen on Saturday. Six more sets after the interview with 5 hours and 21 minutes of court time will have drained the 24-year-old even more. 

Read More: ‘I’m Still in Pain’ – Tussling Her Way Through Miami Open, Elena Rybakina Gets Real About Her Physical Turmoil


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Elena Rybakina’s time on court can catch up with her and free points may not be that easy. In their previous match last month, the world no.4 managed just 3 aces. She has not been clinical in breaking serve and Danielle Collins may not give her too many (or any) do-overs. The American player’s break point chances generated may see her really test the Rybakina serve. Home support can tilt the scales in favor of the world.no 53 even further.

First strike tennis will be present with the fresh Danielle Collins edging it in front of what could be a partisan crowd. The match will not be straightforward, unless one of the two has an off-day. Expect yet another three-setter between these two players on Saturday.