Thursday, May 23, 2024

‘I Needed More Time to Mature and Evolve’ – Danielle Collins Recalls Past Vulnerability That Attracted Her to College Tennis

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Before going pro in 2016, Danielle Collins won two NCAA singles titles, which helped her become a household name during her collegiate years. Nonetheless, the American player’s time in college caused her to embark on her competitive journey on the tour later than expected. Notably, when asked if she had the chance to do college all over again, the Miami Open champion recently issued her honest take.

In a press conference at the ongoing Charleston Open, Collins opened up about how there was a big adjustment that she needed to make coming from college tennis to the pro level. It prompted the reporter to ask her, “If you had to do it over again, would you do it the same way, the college first?” She answered by saying, “Oh, definitely, I mean I don’t necessarily think that college has to be for everyone. I think college is a great thing, um, if that’s what you want to do, um, and that’s the route that you want to go.”

When she was 15, 16, 17, or 18, the former number seven player revealed that she didn’t feel mature enough to handle the pressure to compete on the WTA circuit. She said, “I didn’t feel at, you know, 15, 16, 17, 18, that I was quite matured enough to be able to deal with the stresses and pressure of the tour. And I think there was a push, um, by most of the people in my life around that time for me to go to college.”

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Collins went on to reveal that she has no regrets about her late start to her competitive journey on the tour, as she called it the “right decision.” The American said, “Um, my parents didn’t graduate from University, they didn’t go to college, um, my brother did but I really saw education as a way to open up the doors for other opportunities, not just with my tennis but outside of tennis. Yeah, um, so for me, I think it was the right decision, I mean, I needed more time to mature and evolve physically, mentally, and emotionally, and I would definitely do it over again.”

Even though it was the “right decision” for her, Collins previously disclosed that she “felt almost discouraged” because she went to college.

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Danielle Collins talks about facing criticism for her college tennis background

The American player had a late start to her competitive journey, for which she also faced criticism from her colleagues when she arrived on the tour. In an interview with WTA Insider, Collins said, “When I first got on the tour, I remember I felt almost discouraged because I went to college. I remember after I made the semifinals in Australia, people were like, ‘Oh, do you know Collins never won a match before this?’ I’m like, ‘I’d only played three or four tournaments.’”

Collins revealed how some of the older players on the tour told her that they were considering retirement at her age when she reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal in Melbourne. Collins added, “I had former players much older than me come up to me and go, like, ‘Wow, I was retiring at your age!’”

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What do you think of the American tennis star’s late start to her competitive journey on the tour? Let us know in the comments section.

READ MORE- Miami Open: Danielle Collins’ Classic ‘I’m Effin’ Done’ Expression Attracts Tennis Fans’ Unfiltered Reactions

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