Collins stuns Venus, moves into Miami Open semis

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Miami, March 29 (IANS) American Danielle Collins reached the women’s singles semi-finals of the Miami Open after upsetting eighth-seeded compatriot Venus Williams in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 here.

Collins, who entered the Miami Open as a qualifier, will play against Latvian world No. 5 Jelena Ostapenko in the semi-finals, reports Efe.

Collins, who eliminated Puerto Rican Monica Puig in the fourth round of the Miami Open, reached the Premier Mandatory tournament after surprisingly making it to the quarterfinals in Indian Wells where she defeated Carla Suarez of Spain.

This result placed her as No. 93 in the world ranking, her highest position since becoming a professional last year. But it was insufficient for her to enter directly to the Miami Open. So she had to fight her way through two qualifying matches.

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Although Collins had never played against Venus Williams, one of her idols, that pressure did not affect her. She looked calm and made a breakpoint in the second game.

Williams tried to counteract the good start of her rival. After winning her next serve, she had two break points next but Collins saved them and went 4-1.

Then Collins went back to smash the eighth-seeded in the eighth game with a strong score of 6-2, which paved her way to the semis.

Everything could change in the first and long game of the second set, where Williams pressed her rival hard, including with a threat of break point, but Collins endured and made no mistakes.

In the next game, Collins again unleashed a series of shots to which Venus had no answer. She broke Venus’ serve again at the beginning of the set although the veteran American rose up and recovered the break point and held to 2-2.

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And from there, three consecutive games (5-2) left her in an unbeatable situation to certify her pass to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Her rival in the semi-finals will be Jelena Ostapenko, who defeated fourth-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 7-6 (3) and 7-6 (5) on Wednesday.

The next round will also be Ostapenko’s first semifinals at the Miami Open.

–IANS

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