Danielle Dominates  - 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Round of 64 – Danielle Collins (USA) def. Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-1 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Danielle, what a few last few days for you, straight from Miami, and then winning your first round. Your thoughts on getting it done today

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. Big transition here now going from hard court season to clay court season. It’s not easy to make that adjustment. It’s, in many ways, a different style that you have to adapt to. And I haven’t been on a clay court since French Open. So, yeah.

But, you know, I’ve played a lot of tennis throughout my life and played a lot on clay. So it’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here. So I kept that in mind, and I got a light practice in yesterday just to get my feet under the dirt.

And, yeah, it’s never easy when you face one of our best clay courters on tour. Doesn’t matter if she’s had injuries or whatever has been going on this year. I know she’s coming back from a few different injuries, because Paula has the capability of playing very high-level tennis on any given day. Some of the stuff she was doing out there was great. She was serving bombs. She was running me around the court, coming up with some great shots, and I had to adapt and was a little uncomfortable at times just getting my feet settled into the clay, but figuring out a way, and we played some great points, and that match will definitely make me feel more comfortable going into the next round.

Q. Yeah. It wasn’t just the transition. It was the degree of difficulty coming from Miami. Can you take us through exactly those two-and-a-half days and what you did and how you got to here?

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. After the match on Saturday, we had a nice dinner, went to a great Greek restaurant, got to catch up with friends and some family. And we didn’t get to stay out that late and celebrate because most of my friends are, like me, like to be in bed by 9:00, and I was keeping up everybody past their bedtime these last couple of weeks.

So we just did like a nice little dinner. Didn’t get to have the pickleball tournament, unfortunately, I was super bummed, because I had some obligations that I had to take care of on Sunday on site, and I also needed to drive back home because I had my dog. I would have loved to bring him here, but I have never flown with him, so I’m not super familiar with how all of that works. And I just didn’t have it in me to drive seven hours.

So I, yeah, took a nice short flight, got in here yesterday. I had a nice training session in the morning before I left, and I’m training for a marathon at the end of the year. So fun fact for everyone.

So I got my run in yesterday, and, yeah, it was good to kind of just sleep in my bed and have my refrigerator with all my little snacks for a few hours, and then on a plane here.

Got to go to Jess Pegula’s event yesterday for her sponsor Gorjana. Got myself a new bracelet. I was really excited about that. I had a couple of presents I needed to get for some people. So just basically turned into — supporting my friend, but also like running some errands, and caught up with my good friend, CoCo Vandeweghe.

So, yeah, I’ve been busy. I’ve been busy, and got up this morning and ordered room service and took the morning in and got here and just started — hi! Hold on. We have to pause this real quick. I was looking for her before the match.
That’s part of the reason why I’m here, I mean, other than playing tennis. They are living here now, and, yeah. So I’m so excited.

I was supposed to — so, fun fact, I missed her husband’s birthday on Friday because I was in Miami, and he was giving me some — he was giving me a little bit of a hard time. He was like, you know, I’m really ready for you to be done with this whole tennis thing, missing my birthday, missing my wedding. (Laughs). Stephen is one person that’ll be excited when I retire so I can actually get together with you guys. (Laughs). Back to business. Sorry.

Q. Seemed like you were moving the serve quite well. Like A, B, C, serve the alley, the body, the center. Were you thinking about moving the serve during the match?

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, I mean, I definitely before I go up to the baseline, I have an idea of where I’m going to hit it, and one of the things I’ve been focusing on is mixing up those targets. Today, playing on a different court, in different conditions with the wind and temperature and all of that, it was a little bit of an adjustment because sometimes I was hitting some really great ones, and then other times I’d throw in a few double faults or miss — they would sail.

Q. That T one seemed like it did some damage to her. She wasn’t expecting.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I just was working on mixing it as much as I could and had to make some adjustments sometimes when they’d sail on me. But, yeah, I had a good serving day overall. So I was happy with that.

Q. Good job.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Thanks. Thank you.

Q. Danielle, can you talk about your relationship, if any, with Emma, as a fellow who, and what you think of her the last couple of years?

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. So I met Emma before she went to college. There was an event here during COVID. It was like a team event, and we were on the same team. We actually got to play doubles together. We played doubles at the French Open last year. I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know Emma on tour, and her family, and just watching her go from like being a really high-level junior and kind of like — she probably could have turned pro if she had wanted to, but she wanted to go the college route. And seeing how she’s evolved as a player and person during that time has been incredible. And now seeing her do so well on tour and dominate, I mean, it just brings so much joy to my life watching Emma kick ass. I love this girl.

So, yeah, Emma, I’ve got a soft spot for Emma. And she knows I’m always rooting for her, and my little tennis app she’s one of my favorites. So I’m always getting the results and the updates. So, yeah, it’s really special, too, having someone on tour that we both went to the same school and had similar experience with Emma also winning the National Championship.

So I hope we can get out and play some more doubles at some point. Both of us have been doing pretty well in singles, so we’ve been kind of focusing on that, but I think we will probably get out there at some point hopefully, if she wants to play with me. I have to see. I have to ask her if she’ll play with me again because I really stunk it up at the French Open. So I hope she’ll forgive me.

Q. I have one more question. What role, if any, do you think your decision to retire at the end of the year has with how well you’re playing now?

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I mean, I’d rather like go out with a bang, you know, than the other way. I know everybody has a different way of ending their professional career, and for me I want to go out playing my best tennis. And, obviously, like I said, I’ve got the set of challenges that I have to deal with and have to be open minded to that. It would be really foolish of me to, yeah, to not be open minded to that. So that’s been hard, and I feel like I’ve had to answer that part of it each week, which has been a bit of a bummer.
But I think it’s all good. I have such a strong support system and fans around me that want to continue watching me play, and it’s amazing, the encouragement that I’ve been getting, and how many people want to keep seeing me play. But, you know, I think, yeah, it’s time for me to peace out.

2024 Charleston Open Danielle Collins
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