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Tennis: the surprising Danielle Collins enters the final four in Rome

Danielle Collins (world No.

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Tennis: the surprising Danielle Collins enters the final four in Rome

Danielle Collins (world No. 15) was invited to the queens' table in the semi-finals of the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome, alongside Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff, world numbers 1, 2 and 3. The American, 30, qualified for the last four on Wednesday by beating Victoria Azarenka (34, N.24) 6-4, 6-3 in the quarter.

She will find on her way another Belarusian, Aryna Sabalenka (N.2), the only one of her last twenty opponents to have beaten her, and still with great difficulty. Since the announcement at the start of the year of his retirement at the end of the season, Collins has never stopped winning: his success over Azarenka, ex-world No.1, is the 19th in his last 20 matches .

The first set saw a crossover between two thirty-somethings who met again five years after their previous face-to-face. Azarenka took Collins' first service game and pulled away 2-0. Collins broke immediately and lined up five games, setting an infernal pace.

The Belarusian, former world No.1, returned to 5-4 but, while serving, made an error of judgment with serious consequences: by volleying with the end of the racket a ball from the American which probably was coming out, she offered a set point to Collins who took the set. In the second, Collins controlled the operations even better, finally going into the half after 1 hour 44 minutes of play.

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