Collins wins Miami Title in farewell season

March 31, 2024 12:27 pm

[Source: Reuters]

American Danielle Collins overcame fourth seed Elena Rybakina to win the final of the Miami Open 7-5 6-3 on Saturday and claim the title on home soil in her farewell season.

Collins won nearly 75% of her first-serve points while claiming three of her seven break points on the way to victory in just over two hours after a stunning second set that left the crowd, including former Miami champion Andre Agassi breathless.

Collins, who said in January she would retire from tennis at the end of the season, was the surprise winner at the East Coast tournament, going one step further than her performance at the 2022 Australian Open when she reached the final.

Article continues after advertisement

She joins Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, three-times champion Venus Williams, eight-times winner Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens as the sixth American woman to claim the crown.

The unseeded American relied on her strength to hold the lead at the start, converting break points against Rybakina, who kept levelling the score, before closing out the opening set with a stunning cross-court backhand winner on the hour mark.

Rybakina refused to go quietly after her opponent took a 2-0 lead in the second set and worked her way back, capitalising on unforced errors to draw level at 3-3.

However, the American regained the advantage after saving three break points to take the seventh game with the former Wimbledon champion unable to recover.

Rybakina, who lost last year’s Miami final to Petra Kvitova, missed Indian Wells this month with a gastrointestinal problem.

She returned to the courts and put in a superb run, beating Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in three sets in the semi-finals, but admitted she did not expect to fight for the title.