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But the 30-year-old doesn’t have time to reflect on her career while she’s trying to make her final season a success.

Playing in her last BNP Paribas Open main draw, Danielle Collins is intent on going out with a bang. Or maybe a blood-curdling (trademark) COME ON!!! Either way, tennis fans won’t want to miss the 30-year-old American on Friday, as she takes a shot at top-seeded Iga Swiatek in second-round action. 


Collins, one of the most ferocious competitors in the women’s game over the course of her impressive career, is ready to pull the plug on her playing days, but not before she makes her presence felt a few more times. 

After her 7-6(3), 7-6(6) victory over Erika Andreeva on Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open, a relaxed Collins opened up with reporters about her legacy, the struggles that led to her retirement, and her plans for a future after her playing career ends. 

First question: what does she want her legacy to be? 

“That's a good question,” said the former World No. 7. “I think [I was] someone that worked really hard and someone that was genuine. I think people always know where I'm at, mentally emotionally and physically and I’m pretty honest about all of that.”

It might seem that 30 is a young age to retire, but when one considers the numerous health struggles that Collins has had to overcome over the last several years, it’s easy to see how she came to the conclusion that her time was now to retire. 

She has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosed in 2019, and endometriosis, which caused Collins to have emergency surgery to remove a tennis ball sized tumor in April of 2021. 

“I'm also someone that has dealt with a lot of physical struggles and that has not been easy,” she said. “That wasn't something that ended up defining my career. I was able to overcome a lot of it and of course, there were challenges along the way but I was able to play through two chronic inflammatory conditions and did pretty well.”

Collins, a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Virginia, had her star turn at the 2022 Australian Open, when she reached her lone Grand Slam final. She made her Top-10 debut after the final and became the American No.1. 

Collins admits that the milestones often breeze by too fast. Focused on chasing the next goal, the Florida native says she rarely had time to savor her biggest achievements. 

“I do think those big wins are things that you probably look back on when you get older and you think very fondly of,” she said. “I think it's so tough in our day-to-day now because I feel like I don't get to look back at any of my matches because I'm always preparing for the next one. 

“It is good because then when you have the hard losses, you have something else to focus on. But yeah, I think when I get older, I'll definitely look back on those matches and have fond memories and hopefully by that time it won't be a blur.”

Danielle Collins has announced that the 2024 season will be her last competing on Tour.

Collins, known for her pugilism, intensity, and off-the-charts competitiveness, has been too busy honoring the sport with her fierce grit and determination to think about the big picture. 

“I feel like it's Danimal mode from the moment I walk in,” Collins said with a smile. “I always want to do my best. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and someone that strives to play at the highest level and do the best that they can. I feel like I don't get to celebrate my wins as much as I'd like to because I'm always looking forward to the next thing, so yeah, I should probably work on that.”

Maybe she’ll be able to practice what she’s preaching when she meets 2022 champion Swiatek on Friday.

Collins has one win in six tries against Swiatek – a 6-4, 6-1 takedown of the Pole in the 2022 Australian Open semifinals. In their last meeting, at this year’s Australian Open, Collins led by a double-break in the final set, before falling 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

“I was up in the third set and I had some opportunities where Iga played really high level tennis,” she said. “I don't feel like I did a ton wrong in that situation – I was close, so it was a good match and hopefully I can use that as confidence going into the next round.”

When the dust settles at some point later this season, Collins will sit down and decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Thankfully for her many fans, she doesn’t plan to stray too far from the sport. 

“I do love the sport. I love the athletes that are on Tour. I’m really close with a lot of these girls, most of them, and I see how hard everyone works and how much heart and soul they put into [tennis] from the time that they're like three years old, and the stories – I mean, it's just incredible. 

“So I would like to help the game as much as I can and give back and especially for the younger players to be someone that can kind of help them through the challenging times.”

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