Danielle Dominates  - 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Doubles final – Danielle Collins/Desirae Krawczyk (USA) def. [1] Giuliana Olmos (MEX)/Ena Shibahara (JPN) 0-6 6-4 14-12

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Danielle and Desirae. Congratulations to you both on your first Charleston Open title. Can you just give us your thoughts on the match today.


DANIELLE COLLINS: Very different conditions today than a few days ago. I think everybody, including people watching, were feeling the heat. Some 90-degree days. And then today, much, much colder. And I think sometimes like the conditions kind of get overlooked. It was really heavy out there.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: It was windy, too.

DANIELLE COLLINS: We were trying to figure out how to find our range a bit there in the first set. A lot of those moments in the first set — I mean, we lost the first set 6-0, but it could have very easily been like 4-3 in the grand scheme of things, losing some of those no ad points. But I think we just had a little bit of difficulty finding our range on certain shots. And they also came out very aggressive, and for them it was working in the first set, and for us it wasn’t working as well. So we had to kind of make some adjustments and hang tough in some of the rallies.

We committed to our set plays. We set up the points really nicely with our serves, I think in the second set, and that really helped us. And when we got a couple of breaks, gave us a little bit of confidence and kind of stopped their momentum a bit. But I think overall we were down 6-0, 3-1. So to be able to come back from that, I think one of the things we do so well is we play together as a team and because we’re so close and such good friends, like we rely so much on each either, like emotionally. And I was having a bit of anxiety out there, you know.

We’ve played a lot of 10-point tiebreakers, and we’ve done well with those this week, but ultimately I think we’d like to make it not —

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Harder on ourselves.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, like make it a little easier on ourselves. And there was some really difficult moments, and I think when our opponents are playing so well and crossing, making really good decisions, we had to try to counter that as much as we could. But I think because of our camaraderie and being able to rely on each other, it gave both of us a lot of confidence knowing we would hang in there.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: And some belief as well, yeah.

Question: Congratulations to you both. You mentioned, Danielle, the four match tiebreaks this week. I just wonder for you the reflection of going through those situations, being able to pull out each of those four matches. You talked about, obviously, today, but just kind of the week as a whole and how proud you are to be able to come through those four matches that way.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Yeah, those breakers, yeah, they really can go any way. I think we won our first match 10-8, I believe. And the next one — like they were all just so close. This one we were down match points, and you just gotta keep fighting. And we hadn’t lost the first set in the last matches, but we lost 6-0, like Danielle said, and after we won the first game, I was like, we’re on the board. Can only go up from here.

DANIELLE COLLINS: She did say that.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: That’s literally what I said. She said, yeah, you’re right. But, no, I think we had some belief, and we just had to keep hanging tough. They were playing well.

They were playing smart. But I think we just needed to take some chances and really use our skills at the back and then also at the net as well. So, yeah.

Question: Congratulations, both of you. This is your eighth doubles title, I believe.


DANIELLE COLLINS: Four in mixed; right?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: She’s counting for me.


Question: And your first?


Question: Are you going to team up again? Are you going to play more doubles?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: We’ll definitely team up again.

Question: You’re going to team up again. Very good. Do you guys like the pressure of having everything so close and then having to pull it out at the end?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I don’t think we choose to play the breakers, but I think it just shows that we’re good in those pressure situations, and we take risks sometimes, and also, you know, we commit to set plays. And, yeah, I mean, I think we came up clutch in those pressure situations, yeah.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I mean, I think when we started the tiebreaks in all of these matches, too, we felt really confident, but like Des was saying, like we would have been happy to maybe win some of those matches in straight sets, but it just didn’t go that way, especially with the no ad scoring, I feel like there’s more — it seems like a lot of these matches are going more to 10-point tiebreak. So you have to be prepared for that.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: We were, I guess.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. We played a lot of tiebreaks this week, so…

Question: Yeah, you both mentioned the high-pressure atmosphere out there, but also the crowd backing you both in that one. Can you just talk us through just how fun that was and just how much that meant to you?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Oh, it was great. The atmosphere was amazing, and I think all of our matches we’ve had a great crowd, and for everyone to come out, it’s so cold today, and everyone came out and supported, and it really gave you some motivation, you know, being both Americans and playing at home, you know, on home soil. So it was so much fun, and I really appreciate that, because as a doubles player who plays week to week, you don’t get those crowds and you really want to relish it and really appreciate that. So it means a lot.

Question: You guys won today. Coco and Jess won last week, and right now there’s five U.S. women in the top 15 in doubles, which is really exciting. Danielle, I know you have Billie Jean King Cup coming up next weekend, so can you all talk a little bit, both of you, about just where you see the depth and talent of U.S. tennis right now?


DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I think U.S. tennis in general, the women are doing really well in doubles, like you said, and singles. On the men’s side, too. We have some great players coming up on the men’s side. So this is a really great time for American tennis. And going into Billie Jean King Cup, we have Jess and Coco who have just been totally dominating this year, and that’s been really fun to watch. And then we have some other great doubles players on the team as well. [Sonya] has previously had some really great success in the doubles, and so has Caty McNally. And then now —


DANIELLE COLLINS: I had a tournament like this week. So, yeah, we have a lot of really strong doubles players on our team going into Billie Jean King Cup. So I think we’re all going to feel pretty confident. And no matter who our captain picks, knowing that we all have like incredible abilities out there. So, yeah, I think this is probably — like historically I want to guess this is one of like the strongest times for U.S. tennis across the board. So…

Question: So in the first set it seemed like GuGu’s lobs, which is kind of a weird thing to say, but GuGu’s lobs seemed to be dictating the play and kind of neutralizing you at the net Des. What adjustments did you all make in the second set to try to get a little more involved and kind of get her what seemed like offensive lobs kind of a little bit off?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Yeah, she was trying — I think their game plan was to keep Danielle back because she can hit such big balls from the baseline, and it stops the net player from moving a little more. So that was pretty effective in the first set. We were needing to adjust to that a little bit. In the second set we kind of — I think we were being a lot more aggressive, and we were calling plays. Like we were like we gotta start moving, making them think a little bit more and going off first balls, second balls.

DANIELLE COLLINS: We took some of the guesswork out by making those set plays and knowing where we needed to be like in those moments, and really having those set plays kind of holds us accountable of being in the right place at the right time and so that there’s no confusion. So I think that helped us a lot.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: And, also, I think a few times we kind of played a little bit of their game style. Not trying to hit line drives every single time, but if we got into that line rally, we were kind of like looping it up a little bit, getting them guessing a little bit and getting the net player involved as well.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, we started transitioning a little bit more, too, when we could and trying to be a little bit both at the net here and there, just to throw in some different looks.

Question: Danielle, I think you returned and volleyed once in the entire match, and it was on set point in the second set.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: You returned and came in.

Question: Yeah. You returned and came in behind it, and it worked. You won the point.


Question: And the set. Is that something that you had planned before the serve came or?


Question: You did? So just to like give them a different look?

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I think sometimes, too, when you’re playing against — like in these heavy conditions, it slows down the speed of the ball a little bit more. So it’s harder to get the ball through the court for both us and our opponents. So I felt like their serves today were — some serves because of the heavy conditions were coming off a little bit slower, and so sometimes when you’re that far up in the court, I feel like it’s almost a little bit smarter tactically to maybe follow it in versus —

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: More pressure.

DANIELLE COLLINS: — like being so far in the court and then trying to back up. It’s a weird kind of momentum shift with your body. So, yeah, we started talking about like if we get the right ball, we’re going to try to both come into the net. A lot of times I hit really great returns, and then they didn’t get it back, or something else happened or someone got their hands on the ball at the net. So then I didn’t get in. But we had a lot of plays. Like I feel like moving in the second set and in the 10-point tiebreaker where we were both going to try to be in at the net. But I think with how well we were playing at the baseline and then also crossing at the net, sometimes it didn’t happen just because of how well we set up the point. So we were looking to that do.

Question: It’s probably not often on regular tour events that you have a day off in between semis and finals for doubles. So I’m curious how you spent your day off yesterday. Were you game planning? Were you taking your mind off the match? What did that look like?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I didn’t even hit yesterday. Well, we couldn’t.

DANIELLE COLLINS: I didn’t either. We didn’t see each other yesterday. And I missed her.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: We were like, oh, where’s my partner?

DANIELLE COLLINS: We have like other friends, too, that we sometimes have to spend time with.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: You know, before they get toojealous.

DANIELLE COLLINS: I was at brunch with Alison Riskeand her husband. Yeah, we had a wonderful —

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I had a massage.

DANIELLE COLLINS: — breakfast, and they’ve spent a lot of time in Charleston, so they know all the good spots to go to. So they took me to Magnolia’s, which was really good. Highly recommend that restaurant.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I slept till 11 actually.

Question: Sounds like brunch was a good warmup to the finals.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. Didn’t get those bottomless mimosas. Didn’t get to take advantage of those during the tournament. Only had —

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: You were up early, though!

DANIELLE COLLINS: — some shrimp and grits.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I’ve never tried those yet.

DANIELLE COLLINS: They’re really good! They have them upstairs. I like these ones upstairs.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Really? Okay. I’m going to have to try that.

Question: Quick question. I know you went to UVA. Did you go to UVA?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Arizona State. PAC-12.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yesterday I couldn’t remember what Arizona State’s mascot was, and I thought it was the Dare Devils.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: So now we make this joke Dare Devil Des and not Sun Devil Des.

Question: You all talked before the match point —


DANIELLE COLLINS: The one I whiffed or? (Laughs). It’s hard to recover from.

Question: Were you all talking about where to return, like line or cross, because I know you all were going line a little bit more often, it seemed like, in the tiebreaker. Or what did you talk about?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I don’t even remember. I think I blacked out in the breaker. What even happened?

DANIELLE COLLINS: Oh, I think I told her, I was like, just be ready. I might go line, but then I was like, at the last minute, I was like, I might come in, too. Just be ready for anything.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: And I was like, whatever. It was tough, like I had that volley where GuGu got it back, it was high, it was an awkward volley. So I couldn’t put it away, and then luckily she was there to recover and get that next ball and just rip it. I was like, please, just finish this ball. And she did.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I think so many of those points in the tiebreaker, especially like when it got to like 9-9, I’m like, yeah, 9-8. Yeah, I mean a couple of their match points, too, they missed by this much, and I made balls by this much, and so it came down to such slim margins. So, yeah, we did some really great things out there. But I think at the same time we had some things working in our favor as well, and the luck fell into place for us today.


DANIELLE COLLINS: Luckily. But we worked to get that. So we worked really hard to get ourselves out of that deficit from 6-0, 3-1 down, I mean, yeah.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: It’s crazy to think right now that much.

DANIELLE COLLINS: It was a bit of rough morning for us until that point.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: It was an early wakeup. We were still warming up.

Danielle Collins