Danielle Collins Stuns Foe to Reach Australian Open Quarterfinals

Danielle Collins Stuns Foe to Reach Australian Open Quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Danielle Collins, who had not won a match at a Grand Slam before this year’s Australian Open, pummeled second-seeded Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 out of the fourth round on Sunday, sealing the most stunning result of the tournament in just 55 minutes.

Collins, a fierce competitor, commanded the match from the beginning, dictating play by aggressively attacking, particularly with her two-handed backhand. She hit 29 winners in the match, compared to just six for Kerber.

Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam champion, had few solutions for Collins, who was unable to use her counterpunching to wrest control of the match at any point.

After losing the first set in just 20 minutes, Kerber walked off the court of Margaret Court Arena in an apparent effort to change the momentum of the match, leaving Collins grinning as she waited. Kerber won the first two points after she returned, playing with a renewed purpose and shouts of encouragement to herself, but Collins reannounced her presence in the match by screaming “come on!” loudly back at Kerber after hitting a drop shot winner on the third point.

Kerber would break in the first game of the second set, but Collins broke back in the next game, and then pulled ahead of Kerber for good when she broke again for 4-2.

Collins, a two-time N.C.A.A. national singles champion for the University of Virginia, is the first collegiate player to reach the quarterfinals of women’s singles at a Grand Slam event since Lisa Raymond at the 2004 Australian Open.

Collins’ surge to the elite levels of professional tennis has been quick. Ranked 162nd a year ago, Collins broke through with a run to the semifinals of the Miami Open last March, beating Venus Williams en route. Despite building her ranking up to 35th, success at Grand Slams did not come until this tournament; Collins’ first-round victory over 14th-seeded Julia Goerges was her first main draw victory at a Grand Slam.

In her on-court interview after she won, Collins made clear her confidence of further triumphs.

“I may not have won a Grand Slam match before this, but I’ve got to tell you: I think it’s going to keep happening,” Collins said, drawing some startled gasps from the crowd with her brash confidence.

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