While Ashleigh Barty is seen as an overwhelming favourite in the opening semi-final, the second match of the night looks far tougher to call. 2019 French Open champion Iga Swiatek will play Danielle Collins in what should be a big hitting affair. Collins has made it this far in Australia before, losing to Petra Kvitova in straight sets.
Collins is a very streaky player as shown by the three deep slam runs she has made over the past three years. There has not been anything too extraordinary about this one but she has handled the pressure of her quarter falling apart. Elina Rybakina, Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep were amongst those could have faced to get this far but it was Alize Cornet that was a shock quarter finalist. The American beat Cornet 7-5 6-1, with a run of seven consecutive games from 5-5 allowing Collins to run away with the match.
“I’m pretty proud of myself, especially after matches like that, because coming back from losing the first set it’s a new thing for me. Being in the semifinal is great.” Swiatek said after her 4-6 7-6 6-3 win against Kaia Kanepi in the quarter finals. The Pole was a break down in the second set but has a new found tenacity to add to her to obvious shot making ability. She hit 38 unforced errors in the first two sets of this win before tidying things up in the decider.
“I think my stamina on court has improved tremendously. I think just overall power and speed has improved. That’s something that I focused so much on over the last couple years.” Collins said. If she keeps up the level of this fortnight, Swiatek is definitely there for the taking. The Pole has looked vulnerable but in her last two matches but delivered on key moments late in the deciders. An in-form Collins is a cut above Swiatek’s last two opponents and is far less likely to provide the Pole with the opportunity to mount another big comeback.
Prediction – Danielle Collins in three sets