Danielle Rose Collins looks to continue her dream Miami Open run in the night session on Thursday. The American has now won seven matches in the tournament, having come all the way from qualifying to the semi-finals. Last year’s French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko stands in the way of her and a very unexpected final appearance.
Collins added Venus Williams to her list of impressive wins over the past month, looking to prove that her Indian Wells run to the last 16 was no fluke. Collins hit well off both wings against the three time champion, who had no answer against an inspired opponent. Against a player she idolised as a youngster, she showed no signs of being starstruck. “I obviously have an incredible amount of respect for Venus, but you kind of have to take the name out of it and just focus on the tennis part and play one point at a time and use your tactics that you come up with your coaches,” Collins told the media during her post-match press conference. “That’s exactly what I did.”
“I played Ostapenko a long time ago, so I’m really excited now that we’re kind of grown up to play against each other, she’s a fighter. She won the French Open. It’s going to be another incredible opportunity for me, and I’m just really looking forward to get out on the court and having a great match.” Collins said of her semi final opponent. That match was at the Eddie Herr junior tournament, where Collins beat a 14 year old Ostapenko during her brief junior career.
Ostapenko has been in form this week and showed great nerve to win three tiebreaks in her past two matches. After winning the first set in one against Petra Kvitova, she won both against fourth seed Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian did look to be struggling throughout but Ostapenko did not allow herself to get distracted on her way to a 7-6 7-6 victory. “I think that I had to play a little bit smarter – but in general, I think that I was aggressive today helped me.”I think that I had to play a little bit smarter – but in general, I think that I was aggressive today helped me.” she said. There’s no better opportunity for Ostapenko to make her first Miami final but the she will have to watch out against an opponent who has nothing to lose.
Prediction – Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets