Danielle Collins says all her hard work has been worth it as she swept past Iga Swiatek to reach her first Grand Slam final.
She’ll face world number one Ashleigh Barty in Saturday’s showpiece event at the Australian Open.
Collins is relishing the opportunity to take on the best player in the world, saying “we’ve had some incredible battles over the years.”
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To play the world number one in her home country will be spectacular
The 28-year-old won 6-4 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena, and was full of emotion after securing victory.
"It feels amazing. It has been such a journey. It is so many years of hard work. Yesterday I spoke about all the early mornings my Dad would get up and practise with me before school. It is incredible to be on this stage, especially after all the health challenges. I couldn't be happier”, she said.
Collins reached the semi-finals in Melbourne in 2019, but her latest triumph takes her somewhere she’s never been before.
An explosive, dynamic and ruthless performance from the American gave Swiatek little chance in their semi-final, with Collins bouncing back any time she faced a drop in momentum, including missing two set point opportunities in the first.
Speaking about what’s changed to allow her to be enjoying more success at the tournament, Collins says, "I have added more variety to my game over the last couple of years but this is my Plan A. It was working for me really well today so I just had to stick with it.”

'Her best shot' - Collins storms into early lead with a break against Swiatek

She now has two days to prepare for the biggest match of her career, and Collins admits she’s full of energy in Australia.
"Normally I sit down but for whatever reason in this competition I don't feel like I have time to sit down. I haven't sat down all tournament”, she said.
With Barty hoping to win her home Grand Slam for the first time, Collins knows she may well have a packed Rod Laver Arena to compete with as well, saying, “the energy the crowd will bring, whether it's for me or against me, it will be incredible. I look forward to a great match."
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