Por Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Danielle Collins struggled a year ago, but now the American is confident her best tennis is ahead of her as she tries to break through at the Australian Open.
Collins ended Alize Cornet’s dream career with a 7-5 6-1 victory on Wednesday, reaching her second semi-final at Melbourne Park, three years after her first.
The 28-year-old will face seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, for a place in her first Grand Slam final. She is the second American to reach the semifinals, as Madison Keys will face top-seeded Ash Barty on Thursday.
Former University of Virginia player Collins had a rough time last year, experiencing severe abdominal and back pain during her periods, which affected her ability to train and play.
This led to her being diagnosed with endometriosis, which occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows elsewhere, usually within the pelvic cavity.
Collins had surgery last April and has come a long way back to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final since 2019 in Melbourne.
“When you’re dealing with that kind of physical pain multiple weeks out of every month, you’re not putting yourself in a position to be able to consistently perform and be at your best either as an athlete or as a person,” he told reporters.
“I think I certainly feel a lot freer from not having to deal with the symptoms that I used to deal with, from not being an ongoing issue that I deal with on a daily basis.”
Collins’ form was on full display during the sweltering morning match at Rod Laver Arena, in which the 27th seed stepped up the aggressiveness to knock Cornet off the court in the second set.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; editing by Peter Rutherford; translated by Tomás Cobos)