Danielle Dominates  - 

There’s just no stopping the Danimal.

That’s right – Danielle Collins‘ impressive run of form just keeps on going, as the unseeded (she won’t be unseeded for much longer!) American dispatched No. 3 seed Maria Sakkari with clinical efficiency, winning 6-3, 6-3 to reach the final of the Credit One Charleston Open not even a week after she was triumphant on the hard courts of the Miami Open.

Not since Serena Williams back in 2013 has a player won both Miami and Charleston in the same season, a feat especially difficult considering the change in surfaces and next to no turnaround time to adjust.

What’s the key to her success between surfaces? “I think there’s a lot of different things you have to do athletically,” assessed Collins after the match. “There’s a lot more sliding, a lot more powerful movement out of the corners.” Though she also admitted that she does appreciate the clay being easier on her joints!

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

Momentum is everything in tennis, and Collins entered her semifinal against Sakkari with tons of it, having won her last 11 matches in a row – including her maiden WTA 1000 trophy in Miami and an upset win over defending champ Ons Jabeur earlier this week. She embodied that winning form from the get-go on Saturday’s second match, racing out to an early break lead against the No. 3-seeded Greek.

Although Sakkari was able to draw level with a break of the Collins serve in the fifth game, she was unable to find the right balance of aggression and defence, being outduelled by the American in first-strike tennis early and struggling to maintain her range in extended rallies. For her part, Collins did what she has done to all her opponents in Charleston this week, striking perfectly timed aces and absolutely eviscerating any mid-court balls for winners.

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

And was more of the same in the second set, with the American crowd favorite striking the ball with steely determination and relentless power to earn another early advantage. Once again, Sakkari made a surge towards break points mid-way through the set – and once again, Collins would find big serves when it mattered most. After claiming a tricky sixth game, the American gave the crowd her signature flamboyant fist-pump coupled with an energetic “C’mon!” and from there she never looked back.

After an hour and 25 minutes, Collins was victorious, racking up an impressive stat sheet including 77% of first serves won and 17 winners and setting up a Sunday showdown with No. 4 seed Daria Kasatkina, who triumphed over Jessica Pegula in a three-set thriller earlier in the day.

2024 Charleston Open Danielle Collins Maria Sakkari
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