Jan/19

21

Danielle Collins Explains Her Fierce Competitive Spirit


By Scoop Malinowski

Danielle Collins enjoys competition, the heat of the battle and she embraces when it gets super intense and red hot out on the tennis court.

The Floridian’s outward expressions of her fierce competitive spirit last year and at this year’s AO has ruffled some feathers of traditionalists who prefer to watch a quiet, pure tennis match devoid of emotional adrenaline and overt antics of bravado, swagger and fist pumps.

“I just love competition,” said Collins, a Grand Slam quarterfinalist for the first time. “Whether people are for me or against me, I’m not really fazed by it. I love it. Either way. I kind of like it more when people cheer against me sometimes because I’m like, ‘Yeah, I want to get them back, prove them wrong.’ Sometimes when people are all for me, it’s nice to have the support, but sometimes I’m like, ‘I hope somebody says something negative so I can prove them wrong.’”

Collins says she knows who she is and that helps her on court demeanor. “I know myself. I’m my own person. I’m feisty. I love making it kind of a war. If somebody wants to get in my face on my unforced errors, I have no problem getting right back at them and making it a feisty match.”

“I love that, embrace it. I love when things get competitive. (My coach) will tell you in the practices I’m always talking crap. Just kind of pulling people’s legs. Hey, I’m beating up on you today in practice. Better step your game up.”

The unique character of Collins brings back memories of when a young Lleyton Hewitt burst on the scene in the late 1990’s and refused to amend his feisty, tenacious fighting spirit which featured his trademark shouting of COME AWWWWNNN! throughout his matches, once even after breaking Alex Corretja after the very first game of the match. A gesture which irritated Corretja and other tennis purists, who could not accept or understand such emotional adrenaline being expressed so passionately.

But Hewitt refused to conform or compromise his nature and eventually won two Grand Slams and became world no. 1 and a Davis Cup hero.

Collins is showing she has a special talent of understanding the importance of emotional adrenaline and passion to compete and so far she is not showing any signs of cheating herself of one of her most important competitive attributes.

Let’s hope Collins can stay true to herself.

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22 comments

  • Chazz · January 21, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Oh boy, hope this doesn’t turn into another Collins bashing thread.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 21, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Collins success will make her critics understand and accept her methods. And let’s hope her example inspires many younger players to get in touch with their inner Danielle Collins 🙂

  • Wayne Bradford · January 21, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Let’s hope that she doesn’t turn into Hewitt, a power-hungry sad excuse for a human being who is the scourge of the Australian sports world.

    I actually don’t think Collins should be compared to Hewitt, who had every advantage as a privileged youngster and is quite uneducated. Collins is a U of Virginia graduate and studying for her law degree in her spare time. She’s not the kind of vapid woman who only models or blogs; she has a brain and is not afraid to use it.

    U.S. tennis has produced many inspirational women with Serena first and foremost for her impact as an African-American in the spotlight. Collins highlights a different type of female strength of valuing education. One can hope she becomes an advocate of higher education and can inspire many.

  • catherine · January 21, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Don’t worry Chazz I’m not going to write another word about Danielle Collins as long as I live.

  • Chazz · January 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Lol

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 21, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    People talk about women’s tennis being boring, or predictable, or lacking rivalries, lacking some zing, And then along comes a fiery American out of nowhere and some don’t like her. I don’t understand. Collins presence is one of the best things to happen for the WTA along with the emergence of the adored Osaka, the new phenoms Kenin and Anisimova and maybe Kostyk. from having never won a Grand Slam match to suddenly making QF is just fantastic underdog makes good story.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 21, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    More news regarding Hewitt. Tomic is going to sue him, according to Tomic’s father. The ugliness is only going to get worse. I can’t imagine Hewitt surviving this. Maybe someone like Paul Hanley or Wayne Arthurs would be a good choice for captain. They need someone more low profile with some integrity.

    Lots of disgraced athletes there right now between Hewitt and some cricket players who cheated.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 21, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Wayne, this is interesting, what is the basis for Tomic to sue Hewitt? If this is true, than it proves Tomic has absolute concrete evidence on Hewitt and you are probably right, Hewitt will be terminated or forced to resign. Hewitt’s press conference denial was far from convincing and his red eyes suggest a lot of stress and anguish over this conflict with Tomic. Tomic’s words and stance seem absolutely convincing. There is just no way he would fabricate a lie like this. Hewitt’s kryptonite may well be Bernard Tomic.

  • Louise · January 22, 2019 at 2:43 am

    What a match from Collins. Into the semi-finals of the AO, after never having won a grand slam match.Gotta admire her fighting spirit, even if you get annoyed with her outbursts. Thats just the way she fires herself up.
    Hewitt just dumped Nick Kyrgios from the Australian Davis cup team. He’s named Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Alex Bolt, Alexei Popyrin and John Peers (doubles specialist). Hewitt has also NOT selected himself to play doubles.

  • Jayita · January 22, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Totally impressed by Collins. Held her nerve in the big moments and came back from 0-1 sets down to manufacture a win to book a spot in the semis. In her own words “I stayed positive through that and kind of weathered the storm”. Funny enough, despite her fiery oncourt antics, she actually comes across at press as incredibly articulate, authentic and likable. A number of reporters said how refreshing it is to have someone like that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 22, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Just think of this impact and inspiration this heroic success by Danielle Collins will have on so many players who are viewed as mediocre, not good enough or college nobodies. Now Collins is showing everybody has a shot to shock the world. We’ve seen the movies, Rudy, Rocky, next year I hope to see the new tennis movie, Danielle 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 22, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Louise, it’s not a shock Hewitt benched himself, there’s too much controversy around him right now inflamed by Tomic. Time to give the guys with ATP futures their shots at glory.

  • Jg · January 22, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Collins was a communications major at UVA, last year they had her give an interview at Indian Wells and she nailed it, very articulate.

    On another note check out Cressy who beat Kozlov yesterday at the Newport Beach Challenger, I know Scoop was watching and was impressed. The guy plays for UCLA and has a classic serve and volley game and is 6 7, he chip charges on return games, Dan would love his style of play.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 22, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Yes I was impressed by Maxine Cressy, he totally chewed up Kozlov from 2-4 down in the first set. Some nice volleys and deep approaches. He kept applying his gameplan from 2-4 and then Kozlov began to miss his passes more often. Dominant old style tennis by Cressy. Pete Sampras said a few years ago that serve and volley works but the players who try it now just don’t do it well enough. Cressy did it very well yesterday.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 22, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Jg,

    I too happened to see that interview and was very impressed. A very intelligent woman and someone who has set a high standard in the WTA. I hope that ESPN will try to promote her and help the game grow in the U.S. Unfortunately, I expect ESPN to fail since their coverage is atrocious.

    It shows that women in college can become solid pros and can overcome injuries. I always say that if you want to see some quality tennis, check out your local Division I program for some high-quality tennis. You can even become a donor and get access to the coaches and facilities. It is something I have long thought about doing but I know others who do this and get perks like indoor court time and gift baskets and whatnot, all courtesy of the NCAA.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 22, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Hope we didn’t over celebrate Collins victories that Catherine is in mourning for Kerber’s crushing loss which could damage her confidence. We will try to tone it down on the Collins hoopla, Catherine!

  • Wayne Bradford · January 22, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    I haven’t seen anyone respond to my Lendl comments below and whether he is the problem for Zverev. As Hartt noted, Zverev was totally flummoxed by the slice backhand. Seems like Lendl din’t prepare the youngster at all.

    As I said, Pouille loooks like an improved player under Mauresmo. I don’t expect Raonic to dominate with the slice as much since Mauresmo knows all about it. I haven’t seen her getting much credit but it proves once again that more women should be coaching and some of these men are just flat-out not good. Lendl and McEnroe come to mind.

    Not sure how committed Agassi is to Dimitrov. Certainly Agassi is the only coach to have no success working with Djokovic so hard to see how he can help the overrated ‘Baby Fed.’ I believe Agassi and Lendl are just trying to relive glory days and do not have the measure of better coaches like Mauresmo.

    Another coach you have to question is Domi Thiem’s guy. Thiem flames out a lot. I know clay is his preferred surface but he has yet to take the next step.

    Probably Mourataglou is a great coach for helping Serena reach epic heights and how working with the Greek god Tsitsipas. You have to wonder though that he cheated with Serena so if he was also giving Tsitsipas smoke signals and perhaps tainted the match but the umpire didn’t notice. There has to be an explanation for Fed losing. I don’t understand if he was caught cheating why Mourataglou isn’t banned if the tennis tours are really serious about stopping coaching.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 22, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Can’t blame Lendl for Raonic playing “extremely good” (his words), Zverev just isn’t ready yet. He will get there. Lendl is not the problem. Agassi looked very dedicated to helping Super G during the loss to Tiafoe, he was on the edge of chair shouting encouragement and showing vehement body language but Super G just could not summon the tennis he needed to beat Tiafoe. I love Super G but I wonder if he’s too nice, or just too soft mentally? Super G is one of, if not the nicest player you would ever meet. He has to be more ruthless and more mean on the court, these guys at the top are merciless killers. They don’t care how many careers they kill. Super G needs to be more of a ruthless killer on court. Not sure how good of a coach Mouratoglou is but he’s doing something right to be associated with two of the biggest players in the sport right now.

  • Jg · January 22, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Cressy won again today, 6 0 in second set, a lot of guys don’t know what to do against the serve and volley.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 22, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    The fact is Zverev had one ace and eight double faults in the first two sets. And he was sliced apart by a simple slice backhand. He was totally unprepared. We give these coaches credit when they win, Lendl was supposed to take Zverev over the top. Instead he played worse than he ever has in a Slam match and fell victim to amateur-level tactics. The coach should prepare players for this.

    Thiem’s coach is also bad.

    Mauresmo is a top coach and is proving herself once again. It is nice to see women achieving on both sides of the tour, Mauresmo on the men’s side and Collins winning worldwide attention for her combination of brains and athleticism.

    Looks like Jack Sock is in the Cleveland event next week. How the mighty have fallen.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 22, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    JJ Wolfe also did well after he beat Kozlov I think he won Columbus Challenger or finaled there, now Cressy is rolling too after beating Kozlov. Maybe Kozlov is just unlucky so far this year with bad draws against red hot players.

  • Chazz · January 22, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Explain to me why Fritz is in the Newport Beach challenger? Is it because it’s near where he lives, or he wants to stay in match shape, or does he want to defend points he gained last year when he won it? It’s an interesting decision.

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