Tennis Prose



Danielle Collins Is A Tennis Rocky Balboa

By Scoop Malinowski

Former Bryan Brothers and Vince Spadea coach John Skelly has fond memories of witnessing Danielle Collins early tennis years and her progression in Florida.

“I knew Danielle’s dad Wally Collins back in late 70’s early 80’s. He was the groundskeeper at my first Tennisclub Shipwatch in Largo, Florida. He was a really good player who played every chance he got! A real Battler! He didn’t come from money and worked hard his whole life in landscaping,” recalls Skelly. “He taught Danielle to play on the public courts of St. Petersburg. Too many hours to count. He did everything he possibly could to give her a chance to be a professional tennis player.”

Skelly revealed that Collins junior success and prowess attracted sponsor interest. “She was blessed to find an individual sponsor who believed in her and took the financial pressure off. Today her dad is in his eighties. Wally has always been a great person. As is Danielle if you get to know her. They did it the hard way. Tomorrow is their reward for their perseverance and belief.”

Tonight, Collins will play in her first Grand Slam final vs Ashleigh Barty in the Australian Open final.

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