Danielle Collins defeats Elise Mertens to become third American woman in Australian Open quarterfinals

ByEspn.com News Services via via logo
January 23, 2022, 10:59 PM

MELBOURNE, Australia --  Danielle Collins is back in the Australian Open quarterfinals after a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 comeback win over No. 19-seeded Elise Mertens in a match lasting almost three hours Monday in temperatures in the low 30s Celsius (90s Fahrenheit) on Rod Laver Arena.

Collins joins two other Americans in the final eight at Melbourne Park. Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys are the other Americans in the quarterfinals and will play their matches on Tuesday. It is the second year in a row that three Americans have featured in the quarterfinals.

It was the first time Collins has rallied from a set down to win back-to-back matches at a Grand Slam tournament.

The 28-year-old American also dropped the first set in her third-round win over Clara Tauson. Collins has won now seven major matches when losing the first set (two this week) since 2019. That is tied with Kaia Kanepi for most of any woman in that span.

The No. 27 seed was a semifinalist at the 2019 Australian Open, which remains her best run at a major.

A win over either two-time major winner Simona Halep or French veteran Alize Cornet in the next round would get Collins back into the last four.

"Today it was really physically tough for me," Collins said. "I played a long match the other day - 2 1/2 hours - and then I played doubles, so I spent about five hours on court.

"I had to make a lot of technical adjustments to make myself comfortable moving around, especially serving."

Collins was aggressive with her ground strokes, hitting 45 winners and and making 41 errors against Mertens. She converted five of her 18 break-point chances and clinched the victory when Mertens, a semifinalist in Australia in 2018, served a double-fault.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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