Monday, May 27, 2024

Danielle Collins: Laura Robson explains why in-form American has put her health before tennis

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Laura Robson has backed Danielle Collins’ decision to hang up her racket this year.

The former Australian Open runner-up announced in January she would be quitting the sport in 2024 and that she hoped to start a family.

Collins has enjoyed a career renaissance in the last month having overcame Elena Rybakina to win her first Masters 1000 title at the Miami Open before claiming the Charleston Open title with a dominant victory over Daria Kasatkina, extending her sensational winning run to 13 matches in her final season on the WTA Tour.

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Highlights of Danielle Collins against Elena Rybakina in the Miami Open final

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Highlights of the Charleston Open final match between Collins and Daria Kasatkina

The 30-year-old American is living with endometriosis, a chronic inflammatory disease which can make it difficult to get pregnant, while she revealed in 2019 that she had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Collins, who was late turning professional after going to college in the United States, also underwent surgery for endometriosis, where she had a cyst the size of a tennis ball removed.

“I love Danielle. I can’t say more good things about her. Sometimes her personality on court can come off a little feisty but off the court she could not be nicer. We used to train at the same place in Florida and she’s just a really hard worker, a really nice girl,” Robson told Sky Sports.

“She has the feistiness on court because she’s come through the US college system where it’s a sort of different pathway, you learn how to win some tough matches with the bad atmosphere and everything, including the crowd against you, and she has just played her best tennis.

“Even when you think back to Australia this year it was ‘surely she’s not going to retire’ given that she was about to beat world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the second round.”

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Collins was reunited with her dog Quincy following her second consecutive title at the Charleston Open

Robson said a chat in Doha was where Florida native Collins revealed she was saving her best tennis for her home tournament.

“The hardcourts in the US were always going to be her best chance. She was in Doha and didn’t have anyone with her and was saying ‘I’m going to save it’ basically, save it for her friends and family to come to the tournament ‘when I get to Miami, my home events, and US Open’. I think that really made a difference,” said Robson.

“I just think it’s the most incredible story and don’t know anyone who’s not happy for her. I’m sure she’s sick of the retirement questions as well because everybody’s been asking if she’s going to change her mind and she keeps sticking to it – ‘no, I’m not going to change’.

“In a way either you’re asking too much if someone should retire and someone says they’re going to retire and then you’re asking ‘are you going to change your mind’. I just feel the retirement conversation is overdone with quite a few players.

“She’s had rheumatoid arthritis for years and it’s obviously something that has been on her mind for ages. It’s not a spur of the moment decision and she’s got to think about her long-term health, so I feel once you say it once then surely it makes sense and then we just leave it there.

“For people to keep asking ‘are you going to change your mind’ that’s not something that you’re not going to change your mind about overnight.”

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Collins shared what her Miami Open win means to her in her home state of Florida during her last season on the tour

How Collins dealt with endometriosis diagnosis

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After announcing she would be retiring from tennis in 2024, Collins revealed it’s a ‘pretty big’ life decision as she wishes to focus on starting a family

Collins took to social media to announce why she was undergoing surgery for endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

The American has suffered with it since graduating college in 2016, and hopes to destigmatise discussions around women’s menstrual cycles.

Collins opened up about her experiences, saying: “I think it’s something that sometimes, when we’re dealing with these painful moments, we learn to accept it. And for me, things started to become too abnormal and really unhealthy, and it was causing a lot of havoc for me around that time.

“I also interestingly enough had some injuries pop up during that time, and so I think that maybe the endometriosis had something to do with that, just the hormonal-like fluctuation. It certainly presented its challenges, but it’s been really kind of shocking, since surgery I’ve just felt so much better, especially with my back pain. I’m not having any type of sciatic nerve pain, which I was dealing with for a couple of years.

“I consulted with my doctors and kind of had some misdiagnoses along the way. And so now I’m just kind of relieved to just be feeling good consistently and not having to always be like, ‘Oh, like is this going to be a bad week? Do I have to kind of prepare my training around that or my tournaments around that?'”

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Collins attributed her form in Miami to playing more golf, despite still needing a lot of practice

How to watch play on Sky Sports Tennis

The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day
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The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day

Sky Sports has confirmed a new home for tennis in the UK and Ireland, with Sky Sports Tennis on Sky and NOW, making tennis content available all day, every day for fans.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as full coverage of the US Open, all exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches with a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership, via Sky Sports Tennis, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports Mix channels.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on SkySports.com and via Sky Sports social channels.

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Find out all the ways to watch tennis on Sky Sports, including the US Open, ATP and WTA tours

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