Danielle Collins is finally a WTA champion. The boisterous American made the most her first WTA final to beat the streaking Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-4, 6-2 to win the red clay title in Palermo, Italy.
“It’s given me so much self-confidence to finally win a tournament, because I’ve been on tour now for a couple of years, and that was one of my goals,” Collins said.
Collins did not drop a set all week and had no issues with the 23-year-old Ruse who came in having won her last 12 matches after her Hamburg title as a qualifier.
“When I went on the court, I knew I was up against a tough opponent who’s been playing really well, who’s really been on a roll the last couple of weeks,” Collins said. “I knew what I needed to do, but at times there were some moments where she was playing some really great tennis and it gave me some challenges.
“I had to fight for every single point, and I had to be really mentally engaged the entire way through. I needed to be on top of my tactics, to make technical adjustments along the way, so I was having to work through a bunch of different things throughout the match, with the challenges she was throwing my way.”
The 27-year-old Collins stayed in Europe to play on the clay and it paid off nicely.
“I’ve been improving, clearly, based on my results and being able to go longer with my stamina throughout the events,” Collins said. “That was my main goal in playing all of the tournaments the last four weeks. It was just really rewarding to think about.”
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