"Danielle Collins was very determined, nothing was gonna stop her" - American's college days revisited by fellow 2-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman

Danielle Collins is currently competing at the 2024 Internationaux de Strasbourg (Image source: Getty)
Danielle Collins is currently competing at the 2024 Internationaux de Strasbourg (Image source: Getty)

Danielle Collins was recently praised by fellow two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman. The former tennis player also recounted Collins' college days, when he witnessed the American in action at University of Virginia.

Collins has made quite the splash this season, winning two titles at the 2024 Miami Open and the Charleston Open. Aside from the accolades she’s earned this year, some of her biggest achievements include being the runner-up at the 2022 Australian Open and winning two other titles at the Palermo Ladies Open and Silicon Valley Classic in 2021.

Danielle Collins, who turned pro in 2016, after completing her education at University of Virginia, was also twice the singles champion at the NCAA tennis championships (2014, 2016). Former Indian tennis player Somdev Devvarman, who, just like Collins, won two NCAA titles for University of Virginia (2007, 2008), recently commended the American on her phenomenal display during a press interaction hosted by Sony Sports Network.

"It's unbelievable to see the season she's having, the success she's having despite saying she's going to retire now for personal reasons," he told the media in response to a question posed by Sportskeeda.

Devvarman then recalled Collins’ collegiate days, noting that she was always a fierce competitor.

"Incredibly proud for me to, you know, I saw her practice a few times while I was at UVA, one of the [fieriest] competitors out there – focused, intense."

According to the former World No. 62, it was apparent that the American was destined for greatness, given her determination.

"And you [could] see that she was very motivated and determined to find success and nothing was gonna stop her. And, for those kinds of athletes, college is just a huge stepping stone," he added.

"It was massive" - Somdev Devvarman on the impact of college tennis on Danielle Collins' career

Danielle Collins pictured at the Internationaux de Strasbourg (Image source: Getty)
Danielle Collins pictured at the Internationaux de Strasbourg (Image source: Getty)

Somdev Devvarman opined that college tennis immensely influenced Danielle Collins' growth as a player and as a person.

"It was massive," he said, responding to the same question.
"I think going to college tennis, Danielle Collins herself says that it was the most important moment in getting her ready for the tour," he added.

The former tennis player stressed that the pro tennis tour is a “scary place” and can be intimidating for several budding tennis players.

"You know, just keep in mind the tour is a scary place," he noted. "It's the most competitive tennis players in the world, some of the best athletes in the world in one of the toughest systems to break."
"And for a young kid that can be intimidating, young boy, young girl, however you look at it, it's intimidating, it's expensive. You have a lot of inexperience," he added.

In that regard, he said that college tennis provides the perfect pathway for players to prepare for the fierce competition that awaits them on the tour.

"So for some players, they need a little bit more time. Maybe they don't make the breakthrough at 18, but they can make, make the breakthrough at 22, 23, 24. And so many players make that breakthrough late - Danielle Collins being one of them," he said.

Danielle Collins is presently through to the semifinal of the Internationaux de Strasbourg. She faces Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina for a spot in her third final of the season. The American is set to re-enter the world's Top 10 after the tournament.


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